Saturday, 26 April 2008


A short time ago both our kids went on camp. We decided to have a little 2 - day holiday as well and drove to the West Coast. We ended up in Blackball. 22 km from Greymouth.There is only one road going into Blackball. On the other side is a road to a coalmine and rain forest. You can hear a pin drop in this old beautiful mine town were only 400 people live. If you want to know more about its history, you can read it here

We stayed in Formerly The Blackball Hilton and met some lovely people. We had our delicious dinner outside on the terras in front of the Hotel. The Hotel has formerly for its name because there is a Blackball Hilton in England who took them to court because they had the name first. Yep this very old wooden hotel must have been a big threat.
The next day we went uphills for a tramp in the rain forest. We were at the beginning of the Croesus track which takes you about 7 - 8 hours. It is beautiful but we didn't get that far. The rain changes the pathways into a little river and we are not that adventurous. We had fun though.
We than drove back to Christchurch over Arthur's Pass. Between Arthur's Pass and Darfield we stopped by the Cave in the Cave stream Scene reserve. You can walk in the river which is ankle till waste deep all the way through the cave which is 594 meter long. It is pitch black in the cave . (brrrr)
This is the end of the cave where you come out of the hole by climbing up a ladder.

(My picture of castle rock didn't turn out well, so I borrowed this one from Wikipedia)
Close after that we passed Castle rock, which is popular with rock climbers. The limestone of castle rock was used for the front of the Christchurch Cathedral.
In this place shots were taken for the film Narnia and The Lord of the Rings. In 2002 the Dalai Lama declared it The spiritual Centre of the World. Next time we will explore it further but we had to move on.


  1. Kia ora Marja,
    Beautiful. I will one day do a thorough tour of the South Island and the West Coast is high on the list. A good friend of mine who has spent time in both the North and South islands described the South Island as simply overwhelming one with its stunning beauty, whereas the North island was more subtle, yet with time and in the right place can be stunning as well. I want to see for myself!
    Have a great day Marja, I am very much enjoying your blog. Kia ora.
    Ka kite ano,

  2. Weer zo'n mooi verhaal en ondersteund met prachtige foto's. Dit zijn uitzonderlijk mooie grotten die je hebt bezocht. Fijn dat je dit hebt laten zien en er over hebt verteld.
    Gisteren was er een reportage op de TV en die ging over het snelle smelten van de Tasman Gletscher. Van de oorspronkelijke 29 km zijn er nu nog 22 over. Een heel erg interessant verslag was het.

    Fijne zondag (of wat er nog van over is :-)

  3. Beautiful story and such beautiful pictures. It is not fair that New Zealand has all the beauties of the whole word. I wished we had also such beautiful nature.

    Prachtige foto's van uw prachtig land waar je woont. Men noemt het niet voor niets "de wereld in één land". Jij hebt wel echt geluk daar te kunnen wonen.

  4. How wonderful the Hilton Hotel looks.
    The scenery is also wonderful.
    How did you end up in New Zealand?
    Greetings from Marrakech.

  5. You live in such a fantastic country. I'm green with envy.

  6. hey looks like a lovely place..

  7. Thanks Robb Your friend is right it is a stunning island

    Hi herman Ja dit zijn mooie grotten maar er zijn zelfs nog mooiere. Ik hou ook van dat soort programma's Wist iet dat de gletchers aan het smelten waren

    Ja erik de natuur is hier prachtig maar Europa heeft veel andere mooie dingen socials een rijke cultuur

    Yes we really enjoyed the Hilton Elizabeth.
    We came here because my husband was born here. He moved to Holland when he was 18 but thought NZ was better.

    Oh Monique eventhough it is beautiful here it is not perfect
    A lot of things are better in england and holland.

    Thanks Rambler

  8. Glad to see that you are enjoying the best things in life, Marja. Lovely pics.

  9. Sorry but it's Blackball not Blackpool. The sine on the pub is a bit of a giveaway "Formerly The Blackball Hilton". But glad you enjoyed.

  10. This is so fantastic.
    Great landscape and must have been quite a brake!

    I knew "Lord of the Rings" was filmed in new Zealand, and now you show us some of the places as seen by you.

  11. It sounds as if you had a delightful time! New Zealand looks to be quite beautiful and very varied in terrain!

  12. Thanks dear Dickiebo

    Welcome Mark Thanks for pointing that out. Don't know were I got Blackpool from. Changed it around

    They have trips for tourist here Quin to show people around all the
    Lord of the Rings locations

    Hi Lynda welcome. Yes that is one of New zealand's delights The landscape is vary varied

  13. It's always nice to get away for a break every now and then and that looks like a beautiful spot. Hope it helped you recharge the batteries Marja.

    Great pics. Thanks for sharing.

  14. New Zealand has such wonderful sites to visit. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Yeah Marja, blogger meets awesomely (is that a word?) great...and I've been meeting a lot of bloggers in a lot of cities in India for the past two months... :)

    You should invite some bloggers near your area to your place too maybe, sometimes...

    the pics in this post are beautiful and I am sure the places were even more beautiful...I wish I was there :) and to think my fav movies were shot there (LOTR)

  16. So nice to see you back here


  17. Oh Marja, what for great pictures!New Zealand must be so beautiful!You can be happy to live there!
    Today I had at my work (big garden supermarket)a customer from NZ!

  18. Marja, the more you show us of your wonderful country, the more determined I become to take the longest journey on the planet and see it for myself!

  19. I forgot to mention, I love the pics x

  20. I'm not sure if I've said this before, but you take awesome pics! you could publish these, I'm not kidding!

  21. hello dear!

    I'm sorry to misslead you there on my blog! I ment to say god-daugter and not daugter-in-lay. :oS I only have one daughter and she's only five years old! :)

    I loved this pictures!!! absolutelu gosgeous!

    big kiss :)


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