Thursday, January 3, 2013

Best Fish N Chips EVER!

The morning of the 1st we headed off to Greymouth.  It's located on the west side of the South Island and has more mountains running in to the ocean but with a lot more native forest and RAIN.  The drive was through the middle of the country for half, quite with sprinkles of rain off and on, nothing too exciting...except for the gigantic deer on the deer farms! So cool! We had to stop and grab a photo there...then we finally hit the coast...
The wind and the rained picked up and it was chiiiillllyyyy! The waves crashed high against the cliffs. Absolutely beautiful! We took our first stop at Punakaiki's famous Pancake Rocks, a natural wonder of the world.  The pancake rocks are a heavily eroded limestone area where the sea bursts through several vertical blowholes during high tides.  They had a nice little walk through the rocks and we were able to see the awesome blowholes and all of the different formations of the layered rocks.  We even got one filming of the blowholes on camera...I need to remember to load that up.  It was such a beautiful place...freezing...but beautiful.

We arrived in the town of Greymouth around 5pm or so.  We stayed at this little adorable hostel right in town called Duke Hostel.  The people that ran it were SOOOO NICE! We asked them what to do for the evening and they said the best touristy spot for a night is Monteiths Brewery.  So we went over to Monteiths to do a tour and taste some lovely beers.  BEST BEER EVER! The tour was very informative...they no longer brew their main things there, they were bought out and brew up in the North Island now.  But they do still brew craft beers :) Like their apricot wheat beer! Amazing.  Oh man.

After Monteiths...drinking our fair share of free beers...we headed to a fish-n-chips shop that the hostel owners recommended.  She said that she doesn't eat fish-n-chips much but she heard it was the best local place...not touristy.  And boy was she right! It was by far the best little take-away fish-n-chips I have had in my life.  I will be craving them for years to come.  Drizzled with chicken salt.  Oh my...oh my...She even wrapped it up in newspaper! I think it was the cheapest meal we had in NZ too...only $14 for fish, a HUGE scoop of chips, and two jelly donut thingys.  We had enough for Andrew and I to be stuffed AND have some for breakfast! So amazing...worth the trip, in itself.

The next morning we woke up to a storm of rain....bad rain...sounding like waves on my window rain.  So we slept in a bit, hoping it would pass...11am came around and still there.  So we decided instead of doing some local hiking (as planned) we would take Arthurs Pass back home and stop along the way there, rain or shine.  So we went to fill up at a gas station and LUCKILY a woman asked where we were headed...turns out Arthurs Pass was closed because of the rain.  We would have got all the way there and had to turn around...there are only 2 passes that go through this part of NZ...Arthurs and Lewis Pass...Lewis was how we got instead of seeing a lovely new place, back through Lewis we went.  Boo.  It rained all the way through the mountains, back through the pass until we got on the other side of the mountains to Hanmer Springs where we had some lunch.

After lunch the rain started chasing us so we ran back to the car and home to Ashburton.  Overall a fantastic trip and drive.  Seeing more and more of NZ then I had ever expected!! These next few days are scheduled for work, and a trip up Mount Peel...where Andrew's grandfathers used to have a farm :)

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