I decided against doing the three day hike all the way across for a few different reasons:
- After getting my car fixed, the price to stay at the campsites, as well as transportation back would be too much.
- The rain. Oh the rain.
- The Department of Conservation doubled prices for international visitors this season as a “trial run” with the new prices, and I don’t want to be responsible for raising prices for everyone.
So, instead, I decided to park at one end, hike 15k in, then hike back. Then, the next day, go to the other end, hike 15k in and back.
I am not sure how much of the park I missed, but I loved what I saw! I feel as though there are many free places in New Zealand almost as good to see, though.
From the Marahau parking lot, I went just past the Anchorage stop, with all the side roads in between. It was raining pretty much the entire day I was there, alternating between refreshing sprinkles and downpour.
From the Wainui parking lot, you can make it to the Separation Point Lighthouse and back fairly easily in one day. There were some seals playing around on the rocks when I was spending time at the lighthouse. My phone’s zoom wasn’t good enough to get a picture, but rest assured they were there.
New Zealand is an expensive country to travel around, but it can be done cheaply. Unfortunately, I doubt it will be possible in a few years. The Department of Conservation, as well as private campsites, have been raising prices steadily for the last year or so as more people travel here.
Although we don’t travel abroad much in the States, the massive amount of backpackers here (myself included) is causing strain on both the people and the government. Some cities have sought to outlaw freedom camping completely. It will be interesting to see what happens with the country, but I will say that I am happy to have gotten here before it becomes impossible to travel cheaply.