Day 18/35 – Part 3/3

Cave Stream Scenic Reserve

A little bit further is a cave with an underground stream that you can follow: Cave Stream Scenic Reserve. The outside looks like this.

Cave Stream

I can enter without getting wet feet, but it doesn’t come easy. There is little space and in particular the last part is quite steep. Flat pieces of rock break away under foot. That dark hole is approximately 5 meters wide.

Cave Stream

Wow! Inside I am getting a surprise. Thought to walk into a dark hole, but this is fun. There are so many possibilities for good photographs…

Cave Stream

On the left here is a little side stream. The main stream comes from the right arm, seen from here.

Cave Stream

Typically, both walls have different colors. That hole in the back is about 2.5 meters wide.

Cave Stream

362 meter further upstream is a waterfall, that can be reached with an hour walking. Here you can go back to the surface again via stairs.

Good to do some research about the chance of rapidly rising water, or even worse a flash flood crushing through when you are half way. It always remains a risk and you never know how large the drainage area for such a small stream is. Could very well be that the water rises significantly because it has been raining an hour ago 80 kilometers from here.

I can’t go much further without getting my feet wet and despite the fact that an underground waterfall can offer good possibilities, I had rather stay dry. I have no clue either how deep the water will be upstream.

Cave Stream

Back to the outside then. I need 16 photographs to overcome the huge exposure differences between inside and out, but it provides for a great effect!

Cave Stream

And here also there are lots of compositions possible.

Cave Stream

Very difficult to make a choice.

Cave Stream

They all have something.

Cave Stream

After well over two hours I am back outside. This was completely unexpected shooting happiness!

Back at the car I continue on the Arthur’s Pass. At a stop I find a couple of Kea’s, an endemic kind of parrot. These like stripping and rubber or maybe even both. If you leave your car here they will strip it clean. All rubber sealings will be ripped off by them.

Here I get to know a nice French couple: Paul and Angelina. They have decided to emigrate and both of them have quit their job. They do not like it anymore in France. The people are becoming harsher and nobody wants to help others anymore. Most French think France is the best country in the world and do not want to change or improve. They only like to compare France with countries that are in a worse state and not with countries that are in better shape. The debts of the government keep rising also.

Paul and Angelina are done with that. First they have been on the north island for 5 weeks and for the last 3 weeks they have been on the south island. They really like the easy going way of living on the north island. The south island is much more varied but more commercial as well and I have exactly the same feeling. I will remain longer on the south island because of my photography, but the people are clearly different here.

They will return now to the north island for another 5 weeks and think about settling in Auckland. After that they will go for another 6 weeks to Australia and if they still have money left they will also visit Canada. They only return home to tell their families which country it will be and to pack all their belongings. (-;

After talking for a while we shake hands and I get in the car for the rest of the trip. Have to find myself a hotel sometime later.

Finally arriving in Greymouth I continue straight ahead to Hokitika, another 40 kilometers further. The first hotel I stop still has a room available. She tells me that the room ’normally’ is 140 dollars. This means that there is room for negotiation. Pulling a bit of a difficult face saves me 10 dollars. Just enough for a couple of evenings on the internet.

Maps, Charts & Downloads

GPS Map with color coded altitude information

Color coded distance/altitude chart

Color coded distance/altitude chart, New Zealand Late Summer 2011, Day 18

Download the original gpx file gpx file here.