Greymouth, New Zealand

Pronounced ‘Grey MOUTH’, not Grey myth like one would think. I was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, pronounced ‘ports myth’ or probably more like ‘pohts muth’ if you say it with the right accent, lol.

I think Greymouth has to be one of the greenest place I have ever been. Not like the rest of New Zealand isn’t green, but geez, this place gets 8 FEET of rain a year!!!

The hardest part about being here was we arrived when northern California was on fire. It was almost torturous to be surrounded by so much moisture and not be able to send it home.


When our train arrived in Greymouth we were greeted by the adorably sweet and funny Sue Roper, owner of The Pink Possum Quilt shop. We had such a blast!!! Sue is totally a creative kindred spirit. I think we bonded even more when we realized we had both homeschooled our kids and found out how similar all their interests are. We both raised some awesomely creative kids!

I was really excited to see the west coast of New Zealand from everything I’d read over the years. The first thing Sue did, once we dropped our stuff, was zip us up the coast to see the unbelievably spectacular Punakaiki rocks (Maori for pancake).

These photos are of a large square shaped rock formation that waves rolled in under a rock bridge on two different sides creating a roiling, crashing, turbulent ‘cauldron’. From the photos you can’t really get a sense of scale or the power of this surf, but waves shoot 20-30 feet in the air. It was mind blowing.

I find these rocks so incredibly fascinating.

Have you ever seen anything so amazing? This is all naturally formed and they don’t fully understand how it was created. You can’t believe how many photos I took, it was so hard to narrow them down to just these.

We had such a lovely time with Sue and her husband Mike, and they have the most beautiful property. Phil and I really enjoyed exploring on foot this amazing rainforest landscape.

I found the trees in New Zealand fascinating. What amazed me was how many different plant based life forms you would see on one tree. They would be covered with ferns, vines and lichens of all kinds.

Even the flower bushes in the garden have other species growing on them.

And then there are all the amazing types of bark!


One can’t talk about the plants of New Zealand without talking about Gorse.

Gorse, as well as Scotch Broom, cover New Zealand. Gorse was introduced by the early Scottish settlers as a way to create barriers for livestock on their property because it’s pretty, but it’s also covered with long sharp thorns. Unfortunately, it is incredibly invasive with roots that spread underground and the airborne seeds spread very effectively when you try to cut it down to clear it. Now, New Zealand is literally blanketed in Gorse. When I think of New Zealand, I will always envision it as green and yellow.

Look at those cute smiling faces.

Sue and Mike have another business called On Yer Bike, and we were able to join one of the groups going out for a drive over their gorgeous property.

Oh my gosh, I had no idea what I was in for. First off, you get outfitted in full rain gear head to toe and then strapped into an ATV. I was not interested in driving myself, I much prefer being a passenger and taking photos!

We followed a group of four 20 something year old guys (I think they were Aussies on holiday), Mike has the patience of a saint! 🙂 Anyways, see those ripples in the water, that was a mom and her ducklings paddling in the stream. We saw so many ducks and their fuzzy little babies!


I think about 1/3 of the time were driving through water as you can see by that middle photo below.

I felt like I was on a ride at Disneyland, but everything was real!

At one point on our ride we stopped, waiting for the ATV in front of us to move along, when I looked up at the branch overhead and saw a beautiful big hawk lift off the branch and managed to whip my iphone out fast enough to snap a photo before it was gone.

I can’t thanks Sue and Mike enough for being such wonderful hosts and sharing their time and home with us. It was absolutely magical.

5 Responses to “Greymouth, New Zealand”

  1. Leah says:

    Your pictures are transporting back to my own tour of New Zealand last year. You would be turning me green with envy, if I weren’t surrounded by the beautiful rain forests of Canada’s Vancouver Island.

    Thanks for the memories!

    • Hi Leah, lucky you in Canada!!! These days I want to be anywhere but here, but I have to say New Zealand has to be my favorite place on the planet and I want to keep finding ways to go back and see more of it. 🙂

  2. Gail Dunning says:

    So nice to be taken to N.Z. through your adventure! That is a place I would love to see. My Dad was starioned there during WWII and absolutely loved it and the people who lived there. This is an amazing planet!

  3. […] two ensembles were inspired by the layered Punakaiki rocks seen in my last New Zealand post. […]

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