Well. firstly, sorry, no photos. The computer i am using isn't speaking to my camera and no amount of coaxing by me or the staff here can get them speak with each other. So just a load of words again for you all.
Autumn Farm has been running as a resort for gay men for over 27years and it was wonderful. I stayed for 10 days, helpx'ing, mainly working in the vegetable gardens, though i did make jam and help with meals and other chores on occasions. A 14 or so acre site with gardens, orchards, forest, a stream, a small farm and great acommodation in dormitories, little cabins and huts scattered through the grounds.
The afternoons were free and someone with a car usually ferried people off to the beach or out for short treks in the surrounding countryside.
Had the opportunity to walk through some of the famous Able Tasman National Park, through bush and along beautiful golden beaches, wading across estuaries at low tide and past huge summer campsites that are now mostly empty as the kids are now back at school. Absolutely stunning - thanks Gin for the recommendation.
Many of the guests return year after year, which gives the farm the feeling of a huge extended family. Met some wonderful people and shared some great times and left feeling more relaxed and chilled than i have done in a long time.
The bus wouldn't have picked me up until mid afternoon, so i hitch hiked again. All the way to Greymouth, which is well over 350km, cutting across the top corner of the country, turning southwards at the coast, past the Pancake rocks all piled up like they are ready to eat and down along the west coast along a little flat bit of land squeezed between the Tasman Sea and the huge towering mountains with their heads almost permanently in the clouds. Greymouth is self descriptive, even on a warm summers evening so i didn't stay long. Caught another lift this morning and am now installed at Frans Joseph and ready to climb a glacier tomorrow. It rains over 7metres a year here, so i'm probably going to get wet!!! That's a huge amount of rain, no wonder the coastline is so lush.