We left Golden Bay and headed for the wild West Coast. Although it is generally less than 50km as the crow flies from Golden Bay to the West Coast, this area is so rugged that there aren’t any roads through the area, though it’s great for real outdoor types. A famous walking/hiking/tramping track, the Heaphy, passes through here and though beautiful, I heard it’s not a Sunday stroll by any means.
So who dares to live on the wild west coast? Only the hardiest of Kiwis – it’s wild and woolly most of the time in the west. There are towns scattered throughout, though it doesn’t get much larger than Westport, population a touch under 5,000.
Like a lot of Kiwi towns, it has its share of art deco public buildings, as the older buildings were all destroyed in an earthquake in 1929. Earthquakes are a common theme in New Zealand.
Close to Westport is Cape Foulwind, named by Captain Cook, who didn’t have very a good time on the West Coast.
At least now there’s a lighthouse to warn people away from the dangerous coast.