After a few days spent soaking up the sun, another bus journey took me to the next stop in the South Island - Westport. On the way, we took a breaK at one of the most pictured places on the Kiwi Experience Tour - Nelson Lake. The lake is a popular spot because it offers the perfect picture opportunity, visualise a 'young(ish) careless traveler, jumping off a jetty into a crystal blue lake, against a backdrop of imposing mountains and clear skies'. I herby present you:
As cliché as the above pictures may be....I couldn't help but follow the crowd, but I think they still look pretty cool!
Following the stop at the lake our bus decided to break down, so, once we eventually managed to move to another bus, we drove the final leg of the journey and arrived in Westport - or as we called it 'Ghost Town'. It was an odd little place, with one main street running through it, a few shops here and there and no humans to be seen - it was kind of eerie. The Kiwi Ex bus only stops here for one night, so as usual if you want to stay longer you will have to arrange a seat on another bus. In all honesty, this stop and the consequent one (Lake Mahinapua) feel like ‘filler stops’ and by that I mean stops that Kiwi Experience require to break up the long journey from Kaiteriteri to Franz Josef.
I feel this way because there is not much to do or see in either of these places (as far as we were made aware) and with late arrivals and early departures, you don’t get a chance to go off and explore (unless you spend an hour of your life on the phone to the Kiwi Office trying to secure a place on a later bus). As a result of the lack of entertainment, the Kiwi Experience has made both of the stops into ‘improvised activity stops’ in the form of a bonfire on the beach at Westport and a dress up party in Lake Mahinapua.
Aside from the bonfire on the beach the night of arrival, you can also opt to do paddle boarding prior to departure the next morning. I am planning to try my hand (or legs should I say?) at surfing and paddle boarding in Australia so I didn't sign up for the activity, plus I didn't really fancy waking up at silly o'clock and I wanted to save my pennies for Queenstown.
Next stop, Lake Mahinapua...one more sleep and we will be in Franz Josef, I am really excited to climb the Glacier :)