It started raining in the western side of the South Island and it seemed like it wouldn’t stop. Sure, there were short periods of no rain, but we found ourselves always carrying umbrellas and wearing raincoats ready for when it started again. We put the cameras away and enjoyed the drive up the west coast, getting the cameras out when the weather permitted. Which wasn’t often.
The west coast of the South Island gets a lot of rain. The town of Franz Josef, which is located about mid-way along the west coast, has an annual rainfall of 157 inches. Which is why it’s so green. All that rain is a perfect growing environment for New Zealand’s national symbol – the fern.
You can’t travel far in New Zealand without seeing a fern. They come in all shapes and sizes from the tiny maidenhair fern to the fern tree which can reach 49 feet. After a while, we were saying (sarcastically)”Look! A fern!”. Sarcastic humor aside, they were beautiful, and they were everywhere.