Andrew: Yeah. Pounamu, so, yes, good one. Any general travel tips for people visiting the coast? Just, you know, little short things that you think might help anybody before they left home, something to bring or something like that? Just some general travel tips that you've seen from your experience may help people preparing for a trip when they visit the coast, for when they come to visit the coast in New Zealand?
Marilyn: A raincoat and an umbrella, I think. Although I did have an Englishman travel, who wore shorts like everybody else on the coast, the whole way, but we do have a lot of sandflies on coast, so people that don't like being bitten, it is a little biting fly. And it goes to sleep at night, so you don't have to worry about it in the evening. But a pair of light trousers if you don't want to be bitten. And the coast is, there’s a man who makes very good insect repellants.
Andrew: Oh, yeah.
Marilyn: It's better off to use the local one, I think. Yeah. I would think...
Andrew: It's a natural product, isn't it? There's no DEET in that one, is there?
Marilyn: There's no DEET. And depending what you're doing with some of the activities in different prices, people don't want to be using the DEET-based ones because if you're caving or doing the cave rafting, things like that, it's really hard on life jackets and neoprene. So people ask for you to use the local one. The coast is casual, so comfortable clothes...
Andrew: It's pretty casual.
Marilyn: ...good sneakers that...and actually, to some extent, be prepared to get your feet wet if you're out walking, so sandals or light shoes that dry out quickly are always good.
Andrew: Yeah. I always find that just a good jacket, something you can take off and on quick, and, you know, light clothing with layers. If you're on a MoaTrek trip, we have our own umbrellas, so you don't need to worry about bringing that. But, yeah, it's part of the, kind of, charm of the coast, isn't it, whether their, you know, four seasons in one day and, you know, sunshine to spring, to autumn all in one day is pretty standard for the West Coast. That's all part of the charm, and that's what keeps that beautiful rainforest green.
Marilyn: Yeah. And there's some wonderful books in Hokitika that have a history of the coast. It's always good to, once you've visited somewhere, to take away a book, maybe "The Luminaries" or one of the others. If you're going up to the Denniston Plateau, by Westport. And it gives you a real sense of the place as well.
Marilyn: So, reading it.
Andrew: Yeah. People often say that they like to read books before or after their trip. The other one, of course, is "The Bone People" by Keri Hulme, who lived in Okarito for many, many, many years.
Marilyn: I had several goes at that one but I couldn’t finish it on it, I’ve had several goes reading it, but I've never finished it.
Andrew: Oh, I did. It's a powerful book, you know, definitely takes you into the into...the spirit of the coast is strong in that book, isn't it?
Marilyn: Yes. And every trip there's something different, when I was cycle touring. For a number of years, we had an Englishman who traveled with us every year and did the same trip, and others on the trip would say why? Well every trip was different. The people was different, the weather was different. Yes, the landscape was there but it was changing. So there was always something happening.
Andrew: That's pretty cool to hear, he was coming back to the same place year after year.
Marilyn: I know. It was wonderful actually. And he just loved the West Coast as well, and he did it on a bicycle, sort of, whatever the weather was. So he had wet trips and dry trips. He didn't have the luxury of hopping in the bus and staying dry.
Andrew: Wow. Marilyn, thank you so much for your time today, this morning. It's a Sunday morning here in New Zealand. Thank you so much for sharing all your tips and experiences from the coast. Is there any one final word you'd say to someone, imagine someone sitting off overseas in the UK or the U.S.A, thinking about a trip, and is there any one little final thing you'd say to them about visiting the coast?
Marilyn: Come and do it. It's a wonderful, wonderful place, and not something you're going to see anywhere else in the world. That's one of the thing...vegetation that you won't see anywhere else, coast you won't see anywhere else. And MoaTrek is a great company to come and do it with because we try and fit everybody's needs in.
Andrew: Yes. And, of course, for anyone coming from Australia, the coast is country that you are never ever going to see in Australia. Glaciers, rainforest, and beach all in one day is how I sum up the coast. And, you know, it's a bit shorter the journey on the coast. You can go up and down the coast just in, you know, seven odd days. So a lot of Australians have been over, to the likes of Queenstown, but a journey through the coast is something that would be...I've taken quite a few Australians through the coast and they always love it. It's very different for them, and obviously much closer, too, just a, you know, three-hour flight or so from the East Coast of Australia.
Marilyn: Yes, yes. And no snakes.
Andrew: No snakes, no crocs.
Marilyn: And good beer.
Andrew: Yeah. And good beer. All right. Well, we'll leave it at that. Marilyn, thank you, again, and we will put this up on the MoaTrek website, and we're going to publish it with a full transcript of our chat this morning. And I'll put lots of photos in as well, so anyone who listens to this can see either, you know, the pictures of the places we're talking about, we'll have that up on the MoaTrek website. So, thank you, again, and please enjoy your Sunday.
Marilyn: Okay. And, hopefully we'll see some of the people looking at this traveling with us in New Zealand.
Andrew: Down on the coast.
Marilyn: On the coast. Yes.
Andrew: Thank you Marilyn
Andrew: So, we hope you enjoyed that chat with Marilyn, sharing her favorites from the West Coast of the South Island. Now, when we travel the West Coast on our Kea 7 Day Tour. We start in Queenstown. You have a couple of nights in Queenstown to explore Milford Sound and all the best activities and attractions, etc, in Queenstown. And we head over to Wanaka for a night, and then over the Haast Pass through Mount Aspiring National Park out to the coast, up to Glacier Country, Lake Matheson, Franz Josef Glacier. You have the opportunity to visit Okarito as well.
And then we continue on up through Hokitika, and we stay the last two nights of the tour in Punakaiki, which is where the Pancake Rocks are, it’s a beautiful spot there right on the beach front. Plenty to do around there, walks in the rainforest, Glowworm Caves, guided tours that Marilyn mentioned, with our friend Johnny. And then, to finish, we head over the Southern Alps at Arthur's Pass, and back up to Christchurch.
So, seven days, small group guided trip, maximum 18 people, comfortable, four-star accommodation, and every step of the way, you're in the care of your a MoaTrek Kiwi guide who's a Kiwi, who's grown up here in New Zealand, and many of us had lots of fun on holidays as kids in the West Coast area. We'll publish this and lots more information about the West Coast, pictures, travel information, just everything you need to know on the MoaTrek website. So it's moatrek.com, MoaTrek New Zealand Small Group Tours. Thanks for listening, and we hope to hear from you soon. Kia Ora.