Our destination today is Westport, but we stop several times on along the way. About an hour into our drive we pull over at the Hope Saddle Lookout. We knew we would have wonderful views as we had been winding all around the mountains and through the forest. The clouds were hanging low and dancing around the peaks.
This spot is famous for saving over 30,000 hectares of forest as the NZ government made an accord with the logging companies.
A sweet little church popped up seemingly out of nowhere.
Murchison and NZ Longest Swing Bridge
We arrive into Murchison which is the home to New Zealand’s longest swing bridge. It is 110 meters long and is suspended 172 meters high over mighty the Buller Gorge.
We were lucky, there were not a lot of tourists here when we arrived. We paid $10NZD per person and eagerly headed toward the bridge. It was a fairly calm day, not a lot of wind so the only swinging came from our own weight.
The views were beautiful from the center of the bridge.
When we got to the other side, we discovered several trails that led to a beach and Ariki Falls. Super easy walks that led us to beautiful places. The top left photo shows the flood mark in 2021 – check out the white arrow – it is well over 2.5-3 meters tall.
The Ariki Falls were a really nice diversion and oh so pretty.
This is also where they did a lot of gold mining in this location. They had a replica of a house used by the miners.
We arrive into Westport about 6 hours after we left Nelson. It is a nice little beach town.
We then head to Cape Foulwind where there is a nice hike to a lighthouse. Yep, you read that right, “Cape Foulwind” and it is very obvious why this town got its name once you arrive….yuck!
This photo shows the original wooden lighthouse that was built in the late 1800’s and to the right is the newer digital, unmanned lighthouse. I like the original one better.
Pretty views from the base of the lighthouse.
Just 5km down the road is the famous seal colony located in Tauranga Bay. To my surprise, there really weren’t that many seals – maybe they were all out hunting.
We ended our day with a bottle of rose on the beach at sunset. I’d say this was a good day!
- Travel: 210km
- Hotel: Carters Beach Seasisde
Events from this blog occurred during the last week of February. Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind live events. Check out the Abel Tasman Caves in our last blog post.