Saturday 16 February 2013

Farewell Spit

On my recent holiday to New Zealand we got to visit an extraordinary place that was new to me.

Farewell Spit is at the Northwest corner of the South Island.

It was formed 14,000 years ago at the confluence of two currents- the West Coast and D'Urville currents. It is basically a 35km long sand bank, 1km wide at the base.

I'm glad I'm not the only one to notice
 the uncanny resemeblance

As well as being an extraordinarily beautiful place, it's a bird sanctuary of international importance. Farewell Spit is home to many local birds, and many birds from Alaska fly across the Pacific to spend the southern summer here.

The green farmland at Puponga gives rise to the spit. 

Access to Farewell Spit is strictly controlled. People can walk onto the inner beach for a few kilometres, but to go to the outer beach or further along the spit, then you have to go with an organised tour. There are two companies providing tours. Farewell Spit Eco Tours and Farewell Spit Nature Experience.

We were lucky and had a gorgeous day

Teenage boys aren't always bowled over by new experiences

New Zealand Fur Seal at Fossil Point

We travelled out to Farewell Spit Lighthouse
(still 10km from the end!)

Later in the afternoon the wind kicked up and it all got a bit lunar.

The dunes move 30 metres a year
You can see how
Actually you can see the moving sand from across the bay!

There is an Australasian Gannet colony further out on the spit beyond the lighthouse, sadly our tour didn't go there. A great reason to go back!

Saturday Snapshot, is a wonderful weekly meme from Alyce  at home with books


Brona said...

Looks amazing Louise - at least the teenage boys were reading (and not playing on the phone or pod!!)

Marg said...

Wow! Looks like an amazing place to visit. And lol at the teenage boy!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Sadly, teenage boys get more irritating before they get better. Just a warning.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

What a gorgeous setting and images. I love then dune photos and the dizzying look up at that tower. I hope that you will show more of this remote place in future posts.

Let me know when you are going to Paris, svp!


Brona said...

PS Your link on Saturday Snapshot doesn't appear to be working Louise.

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

What amazing shots...and what a fabulous experience! Thanks for sharing.


Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

And what exactly is a spit, anyway?

betty-NZ said...

That is an amazing place! We visited a couple of years ago. Wonderful sights to see!

betty-NZ said...

ps, your link on saturday snapshots is broken. There appears to be extra words in the link.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

What a fun looking trip!

Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) said...

Wow, that's my kind of place to visit. And I noticed the resemblance to the bird immediately! How appropriate. :)

Sim Carter said...

A bit lunar is right! How fantastic; if your boy is at all like my Russell he's soaking it up discreetly.

Vicki said...

Looks like my kind of place! Love the lighthouse and water. And that Fur seal is adorable!
Here's My SS

Alyce said...

What beautiful and unusual views! I enjoyed the comparison maps. :)

Paulita said...

Thanks for taking me to a place I may never visit. Great photos and great experience.

Esme said...

NZ always looks so pristine and inviting in every photo. It was a big mistake not to visit when I lived in Australia.

Anonymous said...

These are exotic photos for me. Just wonderful. And, so surprised to see teenage boy delving into a book! ;)