Monday, 5 October 2009


We went with friends to one of my favourite places in the weekend, Hokitika at the West Coast of the South Island, only 3 hours drive from Christchurch. When we drove through Athurs Pass it was snowing at the top, but once over the mountains it cleared up. Hokitika is the centre of Jade or greenstone. You can see many carvers here at work. The people are very laid back and friendly and the scenery is stunning. When you drive along the West coast you hardly see any signs of life.You just see the dense sub tropical rain forest, with the mountain snow tops peeking above it from time to time. We only passed a goldmine town and two other tiny townships on the 150 km drive to two impressive glaciers which I will show you next week.

Another great thing on the West Coast is that during the walks I didn't even had a little cough. Usually I have to clear my throat often, because of Asthma, my airways block. Here it is just a breath of fresh clean air.

Tower in the centre of Hokatika

Crafts people at work and beautiful carved work can be seen everywhere

The beach is full of driftwood and stones and when you walk to the river mouth after rainfall, the river might have taken pieces of Greenstone with it from the mountains

When we arrived we first went to Hokitika Gorge where it rained, when we drove back we saw a beautiful rainbow.

The snow peaks

Lake Matheson close to Fox Glacier

and than it was time for coffee Mmm

River going towards Lake Matheson

A cottage in the centre of Hokitika

On the way back home we stopped at castle Hill. The area is historically and spiritually important to the Ngai Tahu which is the pincipal Maori Iwi (tribe) on the South Island. They named this place Kura Tawhiti which means "treasure from afar". The Dalai Lama who visited this place in 2002 called it spiritual Centre of the Universe.

The huge limestone rocks are like a wonderland and they are popular with rock climbers


  1. Great photos - it is a beautiful place - glad you didn't have issues with the snow - untimely cold snap
    !!! I am complaining as I am cold tonight - despite merino and a jumper brrrr

  2. Thanks for the delightful tour on the South Island. I enjoyed my stay there in 2005 immensely!

  3. Your pictures are soooooo lovely.

    I'm telling everyone to visit your site!

    I love how your prose and pictures make me feel more positive in these catastrophic times.


  4. Thanks for reminding me of my wonderful holiday in NZ. We drove up the west coast of South Island but it was during summer, thank goodness...beautiful country.

  5. Marja, I'm saving the Hokitika Gorge picture for my computer screen's wallpaper. That is the second picture of yours I've saved. That is a picture of heaven on earth.

    Deep down I'm a Kiwi at heart.

  6. thanks for the tour..I do wish I could tag along ;o

  7. You live in a beautiful country. Visited Hokitika and so have good memories of it. I bought some glass artefacts.

  8. Wow...such fantastic photo´s,Marja!You live in a very beautiful country!Wonderful!

  9. Gorgeous, sumptuous photos. I've missed your blog!

  10. Marjja, you are so right! The West Coast is such a magical place. Thankyou so much for sharing all these beautiful photographs with us. You make me feel so homesick!

  11. Such beauty, thank-you for expanding my horizons!

  12. Such gorgeous photos! I hope to get there one day soon!

  13. Wow,, nice to know that you are having a good time. Lovely photos...loved the rainbow one,lake and drift wood so much.

    Thanks for sharing.Have a great weekend.

  14. So beautiful pictures...Really captivating.Thanks for sharing.
    Have a great weekend.

  15. Great photos. I love the rocks at bottom. They look so animate, as if alive. And the shot of the driftwood is cool.

  16. Such great photographs...looks like you really enjoyed yourself...:)

    Have agreat day, Marja:)


  17. A wonderful, spiritual, healing place! Great series of photos!

  18. Your pics made me feel as if I myself visited that place. Thanks for the visual treat.

  19. Stunning Marja! I want to visit!!!!
    I didn't know you were posting regularly again! I'm GLAD!


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