Tasman Bay to Charleston and Glow Worms!! New Zealand rocks!

View from Hope Saddle Lookout

At the farm B&B in Tasma, we had a room and bathroom with a small fridge and sink in the corner.  The host provided hot and cold cereal, fruit, bagels, toast and jam.  So our breakfast today was an improvement.  Our host also gifted us a bottle of her homemade organic olive oil from their own trees. It was a beautiful day, the sun was out and the forecast was sunny and warmer than yesterday.

We headed north out of Tasman on The Coastal Hwy, before turning onto the Motuka Valley Highway.  We took this south to Hwy 6 where we made a quick stop at Hope Saddle Lookout, where there was a geographical marker. In NZ they call it a Trig marker.  It had a great view of some of the best named mountain peaks I have heard of:  Mt Fairy Queen, Mt Misery, and Mt Hopeless.

Being brave

Farther down the road, we would parallel the Buller River and the Buller Gorge.  We stopped at a tourist trap of sorts, just past Murchison, the Buller Gorge Swinging Bridge. For the small price of $10NZ I got to torture myself by facing my fear of heights and my fear of falling to my death. I often am very nervous about stuff like this, and will be shaking slightly, or my heart feels like it is going to burst out of my chest. But I surprised myself and went all the way across. There is a 15 min hike on the other side if you choose, and then I had to walk back across that bridge.  Frank made sure to bounce up and down to give me my money’s worth.

Mmmm, pie

We stopped for a lunch at a small Cafe and Groceries in Inangahua, I dare you to say that 5 times really fast.  It was on a sweeping corner, that suddenly became a hot spot for a big group of other motorcyclists.  It reminded me of the Rock Store back home in California, a place to take a break from riding, get some food, and hang out with friends.  It was time for pie again! I got the steak, and Frank got the chicken and mushroom.  I also order a pineapple ring, which is a pineapple ring deep fried in a light beer batter.  It was really good.  It is such a good thing that I don’t own one of those home deep fry cookers, or I would be deep frying everything.

We continued on to the Upper Buller Gorge Road, as it is called on the map, along a cliff edge that was at times only a one lane road.
Dinner at the Copper Pot Indian food, in downtown Westport.  I decided to try something different and ordered a Mango Chicken dish, that turned out to be fantastic, while Frank struggled to breath because he ordered a Lamb Vindaloo that he requested to be spicy.
We stayed at this really old farm house in Charleston, called Pyramid Farm, which is about 20 min south of Westport. Our host was Don, and staying at the house there was also his nephew and his girlfriend, and a family of three from Spain (who were still out sightseeing when we got there). We had some lively conversation with Don, as he had lived in Nevada for 5 years.  He had some fun stories about the congressmen he met and the casinos he went to after getting outrageous tips from wealthy hunters that came to hunt on the land where he worked growing alfalfa.

Glow Worms

After dark, Don announced it was time to go for a walk to find the glow worms that live on his farm.  The family from Spain arrived just as we were going out the door, so they joined us.  Don led us down the road, then down a path, and suddenly, just like magic, we saw what looked like little blue lights tucked into the plants, where the glow worms were hiding.

Our basic route for today:  Tasman-Motueka Valley-Motupiko-Glenhope-Gowanbridge-Murchison-Inaguahua for lunch-Westport-North to Karamea-Back to Westport for dinner-Charleston
  • View from Hope Saddle Lookout
  • Bumblebee attacking the camera
  • This type of trailer is very common here
  • Buller Gorge Swingbridge
  • Don't look down
  • Hike on other side of swingbridge
  • Miners cabin
  • Being brave
  • Time for pie!
  • Mmmm, pie
  • We get stuck behind camper vans
  • Happy cow with beachfront property
  • Glow Worms


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