One of the stops along the way was Salmon Farm Cafe. Salmon is sold everywhere in New Zealand. The cafe sells salmon straight from the tanks. It was so exciting seeing the tanks and the beautiful landscaping around the farm. The tanks were in the middle of a farm surrounded by lush green grass and trees. They even sold food to feed the salmon while they were in the tanks. Of course I did.
Literally minutes later after feeding them, a man walked onto the plank of the tanks. He was dressed in highwater fishing pants welding a large knife. Nets from the bottom of the tank raised up trapping the salmon out of the water. He then took a long net and caught three at a time. After catching them he picked them up individually and stuck the knife in their gills and threw them into a box. We could still hear them violently flapping around after being cut. This was horrible to see but interesting to watch the process. It was brutal.
One of the stops before arriving in Greymouth was Hokitika. This is a small town along the ocean side. The ocean was rough and the shoreline is covered in large branches of tree trunks. People have created artwork out of the branches along the shore. Outside of the beach this town is known for their jade shops. They also have shops where you can carve your own stones. One thing I learned here is that natural jade stones are along the shorelines and if you know what to look for you can find your own for free and have it polished. Instead of heart shaped rocks, I’m going to start looking for jade on the beaches.
We stopped at a Fish n Chips shop called Porky’s. We were told by many New Zealanders to try the blue cod fish and this place served it at $9.00 a piece. Normally we have seen it in touristy restaurants priced from $24-$28 including fries. This is a case of you get what you pay for. Three hours later I was bent over in pain and throwing up in a bag in the parking lot of the hostel returning from the grocery store. Thank God I was given a prescription for nausea after getting sick on fish and chips and spending time in the Dunedin hospital. I can safely say I’m done with fish and chips in New Zealand. Just the thought of it makes me sick.
We pulled the trigger on staying in a hostel for the one night in Greymouth. This is the first time we have stayed somewhere with a community bathroom. The Global Village was rated highly and saved us $70.00 (USD) by staying here. This hostel was spotless and had a mix of young and old travelers. The kitchen and bathroom are available for all guest to use. After cooking in a community kitchen in Queenstown, I wasn’t as nervous about using it again. The common area rooms looked like someone’s living room with all the comforts of a home (fireplace, games, plush couches, musical instruments, books and artwork on the walls. As snooty as I am with accommodations, this was very comfortable and cleaner than I ever expected.
So far New Zealand is the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen in my lifetime and all my travels. This island has every beautiful treasure all over the world in on one island. Glaciers, green hills, rainforest, beach, mountains, plaines, waterfalls and many natural wonders that haven’t been discovered yet. I’ve never seen such diversity in nature within such a small island. I feel like I’m visiting a world that hasn’t been touched by humans (except the occasional farmhouse and farmland) and seeing how the earth lives peacefully, naturally and self sufficient. Sometimes it literally looks like an illustration of heaven or that place people see before following the bright light into eternity.
One of the most popular stops when driving from Greymouth to Nelson is Pancake Rock and blowhole. The huge limestone mountains and rocks have been carved out by the force of the ocean and gives a layered look similar to pancakes.
A paved pathway has been built to walk along the coast with lookout points along the way. The further out on the path, the more stunning the views. My only complaint is pancakes don’t come to mind when looking at the rocks. Not sure where the name pancakes came from.
Driving down the main two lane highway we encountered a horrible accident involving a camper van and semi truck. The back of the camper van was embedded in the windshield of the semi. By the looks of the semi, I doubt the driver made it out alive. There have been news stories about tourist driving and causing deadly accidents in New Zealand. The driver’s side is on the right which is different than America and other countries and so are the lanes on the road. They drive on the left side of the road. Combine that with sightseeing and slowing down or not paying full attention straight ahead and its a recipe for a disaster. Seeing this horrible crash reminded us to pay more attention. There are so many beautiful things to see along the way I can understand how these things happen.