Westport to Hanmer Springs

The day started off with forgetfulness and went downhill from there.

We left our accommodations in Westport and headed to Cape Foulwind to see the seals and the lighthouse. It was blue skies and prettiness all around. There was even a nursing baby seal. Not that it is recognisable as such on the photo…

Cape Foulwind

Cape Foulwind

Seals at Cape Foulwind

And more loveliness.

Cape Foulwind

Cape Foulwind

We saw some Weka (flightless birds) there, too.

Weka, Cape Foulwind

The views from the lighthouse weren’t bad either. There were some Weka chicks running about here, along with a few parents, too.

Cape Foulwind

Lighthouse, Cape Foulwind

Weka chicks at Cape Foulwind

Weka chicks at Cape Foulwind

We drove back into Westport to buy some lunch stuff and as we were walking past the dairy section, my sister suddently remembered that we’d left our little esky bag in the hotel fridge. Lucky we hadn’t actually left Westport!! I rang Diana at our accommodation and she’d already found that we’d also left our coffee plunger behind! That would’ve been completely devastating!

So then we left our accommodations for the second time that day and this time headed off in the direction of Hanmer Springs.

I had to stop a few times for photos – the Buller Gorge Road that we followed first had some spectacular vistas.

Lower Buller Gorge

Lower Buller Gorge

Lower Buller Gorge

Lower Buller Gorge

We then drove towards Reefton, where we had lunch and I got eaten by stinging flies of some sort. After lunch, we continued on in the direction of Hanmer Springs and stopped at one of the entrances to St James Walk. It was a very pretty little picnic spot and lake. The short forest path was really lovely.

St James Walk, between Reefton and Spring Junction

St James Walk, between Reefton and Spring Junction

St James Walk, between Reefton and Spring Junction

We then came into a valley with beautifully coloured hills on one side that reminded me of Landamannalaugur in Iceland, except with more vegetation…

Between Springs Junction Hanmer Springs

Between Springs Junction Hanmer Springs

Between Springs Junction Hanmer Springs

Unfortunately, when I had finished taking the photos and crossed the road, I fell over on the side of the road and hurt bruised myself up severely. And worse, damaged my camera! A couple of ladies driving past saw the whole thing and stopped and assisted me to my feet. My sister was waiting for me in the car, oblivious to the whole drama.

Fortunately, the camera’s damage was all external and is still usable, even though the LCD viewfinder is cracked and bits of the edge are missing… It’s still taking pictures.

Like these between the above and Hanmer Springs, of a gorgeous valley.

Between Springs Junction Hanmer Springs

Between Springs Junction Hanmer Springs

Between Springs Junction Hanmer Springs

We arrived in Hanmer Springs and checked in. I was in a fair bit of pain with bruised knees, elbow, shoulder and the right side of my chest, where I had been cradling my camera, but the Hot Springs would be just the thing.

We got the all-day entry ticket for $25 so that we could go and have dinner and then come back. The Springs are excellent – there’s sulphur pools and therapeutic pools and rock pools and lots of other types, including slides and an olympic size pool etc.

The weather was still so lovely and warm, with the sun shining, it was great fun. After soaking for an hour and a half, we went out to No. 31 for dinner. That was an excellent meal – though more expensive than we’ve paid for a while. It was worth it though. I had the salmon on a lentil puree and my sister had pork wrapped in bacon. Delicious.

Then we walked around a bit through the parks to digest dinner a bit.

Hanmer Springs

Hanmer Springs

There was a sign that’s been there for a while, I reckon.

That sign's been there a long time! Hanmer Springs

Then it was back for a bit more soaking.

Hanmer Hot Springs by night

Hanmer Hot Springs by night

Before heading back to the motel and a shower to wash off the sulphur and paint myself with iodine.

Reworked and larger sized pictures from this day are here. Click on the first picture and then move through them at full screen size.

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