After getting off the ferry at Picton late in the afternoon, we decided to drive as far south as we could. Driving late into the night, we came to the realisation that we were the only car on the road. At one point we drove for well over an hour before seeing car. Which brings me to the best and worst part about driving down the west coast - much of the landscape is untouched and unaltered with little human presence. The silence can be welcoming at first, but eventually it will evolve into the feeling of desolation.
We managed to get to a small town that night with a caravan park after driving some 300kms. Was funny to think I started that morning in a town on the west coast of the North Island, some 300kms outside of Wellington.
The next morning we made the push to Wanaka with a stop off at Franz Josef. The rain started coming in after lunch, really a shame since we were driving through some of the most scenic roads we had encountered since arriving in New Zealand.
There are many worthy locations to shoot along this road so be prepared to stop occasionally. The rivers here are all light blue and very beautiful. I found some of the single lane bridges to be quite interesting as well.
Fill up your car as often as possible during the day. Our petrol light turned on en-route to Haast, the last big town before Wanaka and upon arriving in Haast late at night, the only petrol station in town was already shut.