Day 110 on the Road
Cruising on Lake Brunner
Today we are hitting the stunning dark glacial waters of Lake Brunner on a boat trip with Brent Beadle.
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Today we are going to be cruising on a black glacial lake. We are getting on the water on Lake Brunner.
This morning we have organised to meet Brent Beadle which is the man of the lake. He does everything around Lake Brunner, he is doing fishing trips, he’s doing boat tours, he’s doing scenic charters, he’s doing shuttles, he’s really doing everything here so if you want to make the most of Lake Brunner when you are staying in the little town of Moana which is where we are staying today, just ask your accommodation about that guy and they’ll point you out in the right direction. Everybody knows him. So we decided to go for a scenic trip with Brent and we want to check out heaps of stuff. There is on our list an old pier there is the sight of a land slip there are some really remote coves we have heaps to see and there is even some islands on the lake so we have a full packed itinerary ahead of us. The boat is really well designed we are sat underneath a canopy which is ideal since it’s usually raining a lot in the West Coast but around us we just have open views uninterrupted so we can see everything on the lake. We can see the surrounding mountains the reflective glacial lake. It is perfect.
The lake is black creating these perfect reflections in the water and the reason that is is because this whole lake is surrounded by rainforest and when the tanins from the rain forest are washed into the lake it creates this black colour on it.
The first stop during our trip is those two islands where the local Maori tribes used to banish people to and this is the last place in New Zealand where there are have been recorded case of cannibalism. Which is a fascinating part of the New Zealand history and it’s found right here on the West Coast where absolutely no one goes it’s crazy.
Brent tells us more about the fascinating history of the lake including a Maori iwi or a tribe that used to live in the forest round here and the guard that well obviously used to stand guard could tell when intruders were coming when birds were flying away from the forest. We learn so much here today.
But the area was also subject to quite intense logging from the early English settlers so we are heading to Bains Bay where we can see the remnants of that era. We can see some sticks coming out of the water which were the remnants of a pier which used to be basically where the guys arrived and we also see the remnants of an old steam engine that was from the train the local train there that was helping loggers move the massive trees of the area.
But one of the most interesting features of the lake was the Kahikatea trees which are coming right out of the water it’s so unusual. There is heaps of different landscapes around that lake between this kind of mangrove forest the massive mountains on the background and even some beach and some islands. It’s just crazy the amount of things that we get to see here. According to Brent, the lake is one of the best spots on the West Coast to fish. There is heaps of fisherman coming here in winter and summer to come and make the most out of the massive population of fish below. He’s running fishing trips every single day and I can really see why because the lake is completely empty and you feel really alone in the world. it’s you the nature and the fish, it sounds pretty awesome if you are really into fishing.
What laura and I like the most though is the reflective nature of the lake. Because it’s a black glacial lake the reflections are so amazing. And every single time the boat slows down we basically see a mirror image of the mountain right onto the water . it makes for amazing pictures.
In between the lush green rainforest we see these lines of grey the mountain has had land slips crashing through them and into the lake below. This provides a pretty awesome photo opportunity to see them so up-close. It’s really awesome to get a tour from a real local Brent has been here all his life and it really shows through. He know everything about the lake and every single time we have a question he has an awesome answer for us. It really feels that the lake is his.
So we are starting to make our way back toward the little township of Moana and we are already salivating because we are planning to eat something awesome. We unload off the boat and through the flax bushes to make our way back to the Lake Brunner Resort where we are going to be trying a classic Kiwi burger. And for those of you that don’t know what a Kiwi burger entails, this is well like a burger but with beetroot and egg in it, it’s kind of different we have to say but completely totally delicious. It’s good fuel for our trip for the rest of the day going to Greymouth where we’re going to be staying the night and preparing for more adventures tomorrow.
And tonight we are staying at Noah’s Ark which is a themed hostel with every room having an animal theme so I’ll let you guess which animal we got today.