The Blue Pools of Haast Pass
The scenic road over Haast Pass, the southern gateway to the West Coast, is one of the most stunning in the country.The journey offers a variable landscape of rainforest, wetlands, lakes, glacier-fed rivers and white water rapids.Make sure you stop at any of the short walks that are well sign-posted along this route. One of the best of them is just north of Makarora, located within the World Heritage listed Mount Aspiring National Park.This is the Blue Pools Walk, which has become world-renowned as a must-see highlight in this wilderness region.It features a carefully maintained gravel path and boardwalks that wind through a native silver beech forest and lead to a swing bridge strung high above the Makarora River. The views back to the mountains of the Main Divide are absolutely breath-taking.
The Dordogne is one of the few rivers in the world that exhibits the phenomenon known as a tidal bore.The upper valley of the Dordogne is a series of deep gorges. The cliffs, steep banks, fast flowing water and high bridges attract both walkers and drivers. In several places the river is dammed to form long, deep lakes. Camp sites and holiday homes have proliferated wherever the valley floor is wide enough to accommodate them