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Author Topic: Top of the West Coast New Zealand.  (Read 4844 times)

t00lie

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Top of the West Coast New Zealand.
« on: December 15, 2006, 08:33:33 AM »
As i mentioned on another thread my wife and i travelled last week from the bottom of the South island, up through the the center ,across to the West Coast.The following are mainly scenery shots with a bit of local mining history thrown in.

The first pic is an example of a typical forested valley as we headed away from the dry Central Otago area into the Southern Alps.

Our weather of the last month or two has resulted in a good covering of snow on the 'tops' with the resultant snow melt colouring the rivers and waterfalls in full splendour.

Once you cross the main divide and reach South Westland the road generally hugs the coast allowing spectacular vistas especially where the mountain ranges reach right to the sea.

Hilda and i were based further up country in the township of Westport some 70 odd ks. south of where the West Coast road ends ,(the only access north from the road end is a 4 or 5 day tramp --coastal then inland to reach civilisation.).

Westport is coal country and while we were unable to tour the large Stockton Mine where basically a whole mountain is slowly being reduced in height ,we had a look around the small community of Millerton on a plateau some 900 mtres above the sea.

I'm a bit scratchy on the full details,( i should have listened more to our guides  :-[)however i understand this was the site of a once thriving mine evidenced by aging machinery and buildings .

Hopefully some of the pics give you an idea of the vegetation .The most prominent feature for me being the size and health of the Tree ferns which were everywhere.

Cheers Dave.




 

« Last Edit: December 15, 2006, 08:40:15 AM by t00lie »
Dave Toole. Invercargill bottom of the South Island New Zealand. Zone 9 maritime climate 1100mm rainfall pa.

Ian Y

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Re: Top of the West Coast New Zealand.
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2006, 10:20:23 AM »
Thanks for sharing these pictures Dave, it is fascinating to see how nature takes back what belongs to her, and how quickly it can happen. It is a beautiful country.

I love the tree fern - it is so good to see it growing happily where it belongs. I get upset by the number that have been appearing for sale in the UK. There are so many that they are even in the plant sections of the big DIY chains, you can choose little ones or big ones. Leave them where they belong I say.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2006, 10:44:55 AM by Maggi Young »
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Anthony Darby

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Re: Top of the West Coast New Zealand.
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2006, 11:13:57 AM »
Difficult to get an idea of distances. How long did it take you to drive through the centre of the South Island? I can get to the south coast of England in less than 10 hours and no part of the UK is further than 57 miles from the coast.

It is interesting that tree ferns seem to be very abundant in UK stores. They are still not cheap, but being put to better use than in the past when they were used as ships' ballast and then dumped. But then are they being dug up for the purpose of sale or a by-product of deforestation? At a growth rate of a foot every ten years (for Dicksonia antarctica, D. squarrosa grows a foot a year) it is easy to work out how old each tree fern could be.
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Paddy Tobin

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Re: Top of the West Coast New Zealand.
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2006, 11:28:17 AM »
Dave,

Wonderful photographs, many thanks. They really give a feel of the countryside. From this side of the globe it all looks so lush, tropical almost, and so very interesting.

Enjoyed, many thanks.

Paddy
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Thomas Huber

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Re: Top of the West Coast New Zealand.
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2006, 03:06:10 PM »
Thanks for the photos, Dave!
But why do you only show Hilda's backside?
Show us her beautiful smile!
Thomas Huber, Neustadt - Germany (230m)

Lesley Cox

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Re: Top of the West Coast New Zealand.
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2006, 07:55:51 PM »
Well done Dave, a nice group of pics of a part of the country most NZers don't know at all well, including me. Ian, Anthony, are the tree fern species being sold in the UK NZ species? I would have expected their export to be illegal. Deforestation is a no no here now and it takes tackling a massive bureaucracy to get consents to do so. Usually very costly too, like the coal miners' Solid Energy's) recent foray on the west coast which is involving the capture and relocation (after months of living in fridges) of thousands of an endangered native snail species whose habitat was the area required. 

And Paddy, if it all looks lush and tropical that's because the west coast of NZ's South Island measures its annual rainfall in metres, not centimetres like the rest of us. We get hot dry winds from Australia which gather moisture over the Tasman sea then dump the lot on the west of the Southern Alps, and then continue hot and dry over the mountains to Marlborough, Canterbury and Otago, where we are suffering over recent years from a non-stop drought.

Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

t00lie

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Re: Top of the West Coast New Zealand.
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2006, 12:28:13 AM »
Thanks for the comments all.

Bug buff  ;D it took about 5 hours travelling up the centre to reach the coast then the next day another 8 hours to reach Westport.A total of 800 ks one way if i remember correctly Anthony.As i explained to Thomas recently we don't really have expressways or autobahns? over here.The roads tend to follow the contours of the land.

Neustadt croconut-- Message from me on behalf of Hilda --'backside by crikey !!!' --if she gets a hold of you it'll be more than your backside you'll have to worry about, :o( big smile).However just for you -Hildas front view at a beach on the Coast .Have a good day Thomas.

Cheers Dave.
Dave Toole. Invercargill bottom of the South Island New Zealand. Zone 9 maritime climate 1100mm rainfall pa.

Maggi Young

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Re: Top of the West Coast New Zealand.
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2006, 10:51:49 AM »
Hi, Hilda, great to meet you!
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Lesley Cox

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Re: Top of the West Coast New Zealand.
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2006, 08:47:28 PM »
Dave doesn't mention that as well as a son whom I've only met very briefly, he and Hilda have two gorgeous red-headed daughters.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

t00lie

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Re: Top of the West Coast New Zealand.
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2006, 09:40:44 PM »
 :o
Who's been fiddling with my profile eh?.
If it means i have to start wearing tight leathers just to live up to my new title then you forget about it pronto !!!!!!!!!!!). 8)

Cheers Dave.
Dave Toole. Invercargill bottom of the South Island New Zealand. Zone 9 maritime climate 1100mm rainfall pa.

Lesley Cox

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Re: Top of the West Coast New Zealand.
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2006, 07:13:44 PM »
Maggi, I like the one where Dave is wearing yellow rain gear better. It goes nicely with your own blue, and if you stood side by side, you could represent the great Scottish province of Otago!
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

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Re: Top of the West Coast New Zealand.
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2006, 07:34:44 PM »
Sorry I'm a bit late on this one, been away for a few days doing some pre-Christmas mum-in-law sitting. Very nice but stressful!!!

Could I just pick Anthony up on one of the earlier posts. I think nowhere in the UK is more than 72 miles from the Coast rather than 57 miles. I can think of many places more than 57 miles from the sea.

Having got that off my chest I really enjoyed your pics Dave. The more pictures I see of New Zealand the more I feel that some of my kids inheritance is going to be seriously spent on a visit of substantial length before I get much older.
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Re: Top of the West Coast New Zealand.
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2006, 09:51:20 PM »
Like this, Lesley?
1643-0

« Last Edit: December 17, 2006, 09:52:58 PM by Maggi Young »
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Lesley Cox

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Re: Top of the West Coast New Zealand.
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2006, 10:15:43 PM »
Yep, that's the one Maggi. I think it looks a little more like Dave than the other, and he won't be needing to show himself in leathers (thank God). Do you know that quotation from somewhere that goes "They grew in beauty side by side...?" That's you and Dave all right.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

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Re: Top of the West Coast New Zealand.
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2006, 10:20:41 PM »
We look like refugees from the Lifeboat Team, Lesley!  Dave picked his own ID photo, bless him, i just couldn't help myself from titling him a Southern Biker, since I remembered.. I hope correctly... that he was given to reaching the higher mountain tops by motor bike, in so far as possible, to save on the footwork !!??!!
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