The Two Faces of ‘THE COAST’

A magic view of Aorangi/Mt Cook from Mt St. Patrick just north of Greymouth

The West Coast has a rather unenviable reputation for crap weather. This is perpetuated, in the main, by two distinct groups- the first of whom seem to manage it through lack of accuracy- the meteorologists, and the second who achieve it through lack of hard personal experience- those who are, in the vernacular of ‘The Coast’ from ‘Away’ (and who I suspect, as often as not, have seldom if ever been to ‘The Coast’.) This is not to say that the view that opens this post is an every day event, but it is certainly nothing out of the ordinary. In fact since I moved to The Coast about a decade ago (bringing with me the ‘From Awayers’ ideas about Coastal weather, but not caring particularly because weather shouldn’t be an impediment to doing stuff anywhere, least of all on ‘The Coast’ where there are so many great things ‘to do’.)I have found the preconceptions often just don’t hold water (so to speak.) There is a certain wee fallacy promoted by some supporters of ‘anonymity for The Coast’ from Away that “it only rains at night”. Now I can categorically deny this- just occasionally it does rain during the day!Having admitted this it must be said, however that due to the prevailing winds out of the south-west much of the inclement weather does rush in, does its wet thing (very often at night,) and by morning rushes on.The Coast climate is really quite equitable all in all- never the record rainfall enjoyed by the far south of the region in Fiordland nor extreme cold winter temperatures. BUT… (aha! there is a but!) The Coast is a magnificent part of New Zealand with spectacular mountain ranges,gorgeous lakesand rivers,beautiful bushand rugged coastline.Combine this with our good-bad weather patterns and the images just continue to amaze.On a fine day you can see forever,and the sea and sky are impressive frames for some of the most rewarding views in the world.During and after the other side of the weather coin and those same impressive views are none the less impressive.I have come to love The Coast and all that it offers- especially the expansive,the majesticthe rugged,and the downright beautifulviews that reward no matter what the weather. Don’t let the rumours of record rainfall and freezing temperatures put you off. (By the way, don’t let the locals know that I said this- the weather is supposed to be one of the ‘best kept secrets’ around here!!)


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