Karamea to Haast - 2017

My father, who normally resides at the top end of Australia as a tour guide, is over here in New Zealand for a few months. I've decked out my backup DRZ400 with 17 inch wheels and a lowering link for his little hobbit legs and we’ve already sunk our teeth into a couple of great trips over the last couple of months. 

Photo 1 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
My father and I on the two DRZ400 bikes up the Clarence Valley

The trip we've just returned from was another goodie, it was planned around riding and camping down the beautiful South Island’s West Coast from Karamea to Haast.

With New Zealand’s summer so far dumping record levels of rain, we were crossing fingers that Mother Nature would stop being so difficult and serve up some nice weather. Thankfully, she did just that. Before the trip began however, I needed to get from Christchurch to the starting point at Karamea. It was a fairly tame tarmac trip, but very enjoyable as I rode and set some new Mototokens along the way. 

Photo 2 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Setting the Lake Grasmere Mototoken
Reference Link : Lake Grasmere
Photo 3 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Setting the Mount White Bridge Mototoken
Reference Link : Mount White Bridge
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Setting the Hawdon Valley Mototoken
Reference Link : Hawdon Valley
Photo 5 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 6 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Setting the Bealey Bridge Mototoken
Reference Link : Bealey Bridge
Photo 7 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Setting the Otira Vioduct Mototoken
Reference Link : Otira Viaduct
Photo 8 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
The rock shelter at Candys Bend
Photo 9 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Setting the Stanley Gooseman Bridge Mototoken
Reference Link : Stanley Gooseman Bridge
Photo 10 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Reference Link : Stanley Gooseman Bridge
Photo 11 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Setting the Lake Poerua Mototoken
Reference Link : Lake Poerua
Photo 12 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Reference Link : Lake Poerua
Photo 13 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Setting the Ten Mile Creek Mototoken
Reference Link : Ten Mile Creek
Photo 14 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Reference Link : Ten Mile Creek
Photo 15 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Finally arriving in Karamea. A few dark clouds were rattling around the hills but they disappeared overnight and made way for a great start to the trip

Let the ride begin!

One of the main focuses of the trip was to set new Mototokens down the coast and GPS log some new tracks. Most of the places I have previously ridden and simply needed to get some good photos while there were a few spots I hadn’t yet ridden that I was very much looking forward to. With the weather being kind and kicking the day off with blue skies, we were off. 

Photo 16 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Not long out of Karamea we stopped off at the first Mototoken on Happy Valley Saddle
Reference Link : Happy Valley Saddle
Photo 17 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Reference Link : Tiphead Road Lookout
Photo 18 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Reference Link : Tiphead Road Lookout
Photo 19 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Reference Link : Cape Foulwind Lookout
Photo 20 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Mist was rolling in off the sea in an eerie fashion along Beach Road
Reference Link : Beach Road
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Reference Link : Wall Island
Photo 22 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Reference Link : Okari Lagoon
Photo 23 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Reference Link : Beach Road Cove
Photo 24 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Reference Link : Okari Lagoon
Photo 25 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Reference Link : Okari Lagoon
Photo 26 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Heading inland on a West Coast gravel road
Photo 27 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Reference Link : Constant Bay Lookout
Photo 28 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 29 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 30 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 31 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 32 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Reference Link : Four Mile Road Dam
Photo 35 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
After setting up camp, dad went for a walk up some of the nearby tracks looking for deer sign and I shot upstream looking for trout. Up this far the river was reported to not hold trout, but I thought I'd have a look and see firsthand
Photo 36 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
There were lots of grasshoppers around which was going to make fly selection easy should any trout be up this far
Photo 37 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
After covering about 5 km, the reports proved true and there were no fish to be seen. But, it was an absolutely beautiful river to walk up and a great way to spend the afternoon before heading back to camp for tea
Photo 38 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 39 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 40 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 41 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
That evening the sky put on a fairly impressive show for us. "Red sky at night, shepherds delight" they say? Tomorrow will soon tell...
Photo 42 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
The next day the sun was out and we were served up great weather for riding
Photo 43 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 44 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Setting the Mototoken for the old Fox River Bridge
Reference Link : Old Fox River Bridge
Photo 45 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 46 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Setting the Mototoken for the Punakaiki River Swing Bridge
Photo 47 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 48 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
The day was spent exploring little sidetracks and lots of interesting places were seen. This is the Waiwhero Creek Bridge remains Mototoken off a nice little bush track off the main road
Photo 49 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 50 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Setting the Mototoken for Tipperary Creek
Reference Link : Tipperary Creek
Photo 51 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Setting the Mototoken for Big Rock
Reference Link : Big Rock
Photo 52 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 53 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Setting the Mototoken for Taramakau Estuary
Reference Link : Taramakau Estuary
Photo 54 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 55 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Heading up Totara Valley Road
Reference Link : Totara Valley Road
Photo 56 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 57 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Setting the Mototoken for Ross Reservoir
Reference Link : Ross Reservoir
Photo 58 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
The interesting bike shop next to the Roddy Nugget in Ross
Reference Link : Roddy Nugget Cafe and Bar
Photo 59 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Setting the Mototoken for Waikoriri Stream Bridge
Reference Link : Waikoriri Stream Bridge
Photo 60 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Setting the Mototoken for Bold Head
Reference Link : Bold Head
Photo 61 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Setting the Mototoken for the Waitaha River Bridge
Reference Link : Waitaha River Bridge
Photo 62 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Heading through the bush track out to Greens Beach
Photo 63 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Greens Beach
Reference Link : Greens Beach
Photo 64 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 65 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
After a magic day of riding we were fast running out of daylight so we shot off to setup camp eagerly anticipating the following day...
Photo 66 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
The next day brought more great riding weather. We continued heading south and exploring side tracks I had marked on the GPS
Photo 67 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 68 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 69 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 70 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 71 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Setting the Mototoken for Lord Range Lookout
Reference Link : Lord Range Lookout
Photo 72 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 73 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Setting the Mototoken for Guy Lambton Menzies Plaque, a plaque to acknowledge Guy Lambton Menzies, the first Australian aviator who flew the first solo trans-Tasman flight, from Sydney to the West Coast of New Zealand, on 7 January 1931
Photo 74 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
As the day progressed we started to hit a thicker cloud canopy, but no rain fell the entire day
Photo 75 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Setting the Mototoken for Sandy Beach
Reference Link : Sandy Beach
Photo 76 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 77 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
After a great day of riding we reached our planned destination. I was pretty happy as this was the first opportunity I had to pull out the fly rod :)
Photo 78 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
This is one of my favourite little spots, a tiny little lake tucked away in the bush near a river. Very few people know about this little lake as it isn’t named, documented or visible from any roadside. You have to cross a river and then push through bush to find it.
Photo 79 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
It holds a good stock of brown trout and whilst none of them are significant in size, they are great fun to fish to. Before the light started to run out I managed to land two healthy browns with some exciting dry fly action
Photo 80 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
The rest of the evening was spent around the campfire before retiring to bed wondering if the darkening clouds were going to give us a wet start in the morning…
Photo 81 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Throughout the night, rain came down in bucket loads. But as morning broke the rain stopped. How very courteous of the weather gods. After packing up camp and setting off on the bikes, we continued further south poking our noses down interesting looking side tracks
Photo 82 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Setting the Mototoken for Lake Moeraki
Reference Link : Lake Moeraki
Photo 83 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 84 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Watching a hungry Brown slowly patrolling the shoreline
Photo 85 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 86 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Setting the Mototoken for Waita River Mouth
Reference Link : Waita River Mouth
Photo 87 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
:)
Photo 88 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
As we hit Jackson Bay we were met by rain from an approaching front
Reference Link : Jackson Bay Wharf
Photo 89 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
We caught up with a family friend in Neils Beach where we planned to stay a couple of nights. Here we met a local rider who took us on a ride around the area. The rain got increasingly heavier so we were as wet is drowned rats, but it was a great ride.
Photo 90 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
The next few days were spent in the Haast area having a look around and doing a bit of fishing. This is one of the small lakes in the Haast area that has tricky lake edge access, but a good stock of brown trout
Photo 91 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
A beautiful little copper coloured brown trout lifted for a quick pic and set on his way
Photo 92 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 93 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Heading out to check the cray pots :)
Photo 94 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
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Photo 97 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
A simply stunning river
Photo 98 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 99 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
After a good few days in Haast it was back on the bikes again
Photo 100 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 101 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
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Photo 103 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 104 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Setting the Mototoken for the Lansborough River
Reference Link : Landsborough River
Photo 105 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 106 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Setting the Mototoken for the Pleasant Flat Bridge
Reference Link : Pleasant Flat Bridge
Photo 107 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 108 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Setting the Mototoken for Camp Creek Lookout
Reference Link : Camp Creek Lookout
Photo 109 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Setting the Mototoken for The Neck
Reference Link : The Neck
Photo 110 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 111 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Setting the Mototoken for Hawea Township Lookout
Reference Link : Hawea Township Lookout
Photo 112 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
With the day running short and unable to reach the planned destination, we decided to camp up at the ruins of the old Lindis Hotel
Reference Link : Lindis Pass Hotel Ruins
Photo 113 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Reference Link : Lindis Pass Hotel Ruins
Photo 114 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
The next day presented a massive foggy patch at the northern end of Lindis Pass, but once we broke through more great riding weather was awaiting us. We stopped in for a look around Three Creeks, an interesting little place at Burkes Pass
Photo 115 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 116 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
You don't see too many of these around
Photo 117 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Next up we were off up into the High Country
Photo 118 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 119 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 120 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Stopping for a bite to eat
Photo 121 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
Photo 122 of West Coast Father and Son Trip - 2017
After a great ride in we headed out and made our way back to Christchurch. We struck it luck for weather on this trip, the only two times it rained was once at night when we were in our tents and the other when we were staying in a house at Neils Beach. I didn't get to set as many Mototokens as I'd hoped as time simply didn't allow but a good number were set and I am planning the next trip to the West Coast to finish off the job...

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