The Wet West Coast (Hokitika and Lake Kaniere)
The West Coast of the South Island is a special place in New Zealand. It's an area with a lot of space (23,000 km² to be exact) and some of the most amazing mountainous scenery you'll ever lay your eyes on. Surprisingly, the West Coast was the only area with remotely good weather forecast for the weekend just gone, so I decided to head over Arthurs Pass on a rainy Saturday morning, aiming for Lake Kaniere, a lake that's tucked away inland from Hokitika. The drive through Arthurs Pass is great, even in bad weather. The public toilets there are some of the best I've ever seen (-42.9422571966, 171.563272476), so good in fact that there's a sign warning travellers not to camp in there! If you're looking to stay in Arthurs Pass there's a nice YHA just across the road or if you want to move on a little to Otira, there's a nice hostel there too. It doesn't matter how many times I pass the Otira Viaduct, I am always amazed by it's beauty and find myself saying 'wow' every time. Admittedly yes, this photo was Instagrammed on my iPhone (giving it the old fashioned look) but filter or no filter it's an amazing drive. We arrived in Hokitika around 2pm, sadly to bad weather but it still didn't dampen my spirits on collecting some new GPS coodinates and adding them to the CamperMate database. A new addition which we've made to what you can locate using CamperMate is the Laundromat. I found this one located on Weld Street (-42.71871292582, 170.963219404) Over a period of around three and a half hours, I found 9 rubbish bins around the wider town, 3 new toilets, a dairy and added 5 interesting tips, which have been approved and added to the database. From Hokitika I headed inland to the destination Lake Kaniere, which I had never been to before and to be honest hadn't heard about it before spending a bit of time on Google searching my weekend destination. Sometimes that's the best way to go though I believe, as you have no expectations and you quite often get a nice surprise, as I did on this occasion. It was great to find a layer of mist settling over the lake, a light spatter of rain with barely a ripple. To me, this screams trout fishing weather! I had purchased a 24 hour fishing licence online and started casting with some lures purchased from the Hokitika Sports Shop. I was lucky enough to catch onto a piece of nylon from a previous fisher, the feeling of pulling in someone elses line was similar to opening presents on christmas day as a kid..In hindsight, the best I could've realistically hoped for was an old (dead) fish still stuck on the end, but still! As it turned out someone had snagged their line, and I ended up with a rusty old lure, worth about $8, but better than nothing! Unfortunately after an hour or so of fishing, that was to be my only catch! So it was off back to cook some pasta for dinner, then try and find a country pub to watch the All Blacks play France. The next day the weather really started to come down, so there wasn't much scope for adventure. I got a small respite in the weather at Kumara, where I checked out New Zealands biggest swimming complex in the 1930's..
All in all a very successful trip refining the CamperMate database by adding some more points and editing a few others.