I check out of the hostel in Franz Josef and they tell me I have paid when I don't think I have. We have a short discussion and I leave still uncertain.
A number of things are playing on my mind: I need petrol before I set off as it's quite long stretches without petrol stations and I don't know how they do petrol here. I am the sort of person that likes to have a plan. I have been to places where you have to pre-pay for an amount before filling up, places where they have to have an attendant do it for you etc. What is New Zealand's method? Turns out it's the same as the UK so that's easy. Then I'm wondering what would I do if I broke down or had a tyre blow (unlikely but possible) and what will the hostel be like; will I be strung up if I snore?
I discover there is a petrol place as I leave the town.... A quick fill up sorted and water purchased in case I get stuck out in the wilderness. :) Planning ahead!
The drive starts out as I expect... It's beautiful; Lakes meet mountains that greet blue skies and all are bathed in beautiful bright sunshine through the clean air. Delicate and colourful flowers are dotted along the roadsides and lake edges. My little red car sticks out everywhere, especially since most of the time I am driving without other vehicles around.
Someone told me this hand signal means love! Big love New Zealand!
One of the things I discovered was a river that looked like raspberry slushy! It was so bright!
Fields, beaches, mountains, rivers, waterfalls and expansive lakes = New Zealand.
I made a stop to treat my crazily itchy bites!!! Damn mozzies!
I travel close to the coast and I decide to stop there for a moment... Goggle takes me right up the garden path and I actually end up in someone's garden. I cringe-smile with embarrassment at the confused lady hanging out her washing and I throw the car into reverse. Doh! I have to reverse a rather long way though as it is a single track road. Oh dear. I will find other beaches ;)
I had thought I would stop at greymouth but it looked so industrial and dull that I didn't even both to stop to take photos. Don't bother staying here.
I did however stop when I saw the chance to walk high up in the trees.
So it turns out info have a bit of a fear of heights and I have to slightly talk myself round the latticey and industrial steel walkways.
I try to focus on the views because they are beautiful.
And not looking down...
Not not looking down...
This type of tree is super common in New Zealand. It starts out like a Christmas tree shape and then as it gets bigger the bottom beaches drop off. This made it a favourite for loggers but not the tree is protected. :)
The walk has a bunch of signs along the walk with descriptions of the birds you might see while not looking down.
In addition to the high walkway was a high tower. I climbed up for even more spectacular views.
The walk finished I head back down the path on the ground. Fear conquered! Haha! Now for the rest of the driving to the hostel in Motueka! :)