Motorcaravan tourists enjoying Coast

Caravans in Cromwell. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Caravans in Cromwell. PHOTO: ODT FILES
A huge procession of motorhomes are Reefton-bound today ahead of the NZ Motorcaravan Association's (NZMCA) national rally.

The event is bringing 900 vans and campervans to the West Coast, with many planning to stay and explore the area for the next few weeks.

Gary Piper and his wife, Annette, hail from Waitārere Beach and came to the Coast on January 17. They have explored Westport, Franz Josef Glacier, Hokitika and Jackson Bay before coming to stay in Greymouth at the free camping area at the Cobden Tip Head.

"We did Greymouth yesterday and had lunch and went to the pool."

The couple visited Lake Brunner and Lake Kaniere and will stay in Reefton until Monday. Afterwards, they plan to explore even more of the Coast before making their way home in late March.

"We've had whitebait, crayfish and some ordinary fish ... we've thoroughly enjoyed it," Mr Piper said.

One highlight had been their foray to The Craypot in Jackson Bay.

"We can say we've been to the end of the road now."

The Waitārere Beach locals have been in the NZMCA for 16 years, while their friends, Graham and Diane Robertson, of Christchurch, have been with the association for 21 years. The Robertsons only moved to Canterbury in December from Levin in the North Island, so they have not explored all of the West Coast yet. On their seventh motorhome now, the couple are excited to visit Reefton for the first time ever, and to catch up with old friends and make new ones at the rally.

Mrs Robertson was incredibly thankful to the Grey District Council for the amount of free parking in Greymouth.

"It's a wonderful, wonderful place."

The group has enjoyed the local food spots, the coffee and the constant entertainment that comes from watching boats cross the bar.

Registrations for the national rally opened on Wednesday, with 900 vans and 1400 people set to descend on the Reefton Racecourse for the event, which will wrap up on Monday with a closing ceremony. — Greymouth Star

 - By Arianna Stewart