February 29 Westport Shopping (Day 155)

Shopping Day! We need fresh fruit & veggies so we headed to the closest store which is in Westport, about 26 miles north. We’re also looking for new shoes, 6 months of hiking all around NZ has worn our walking shoes out! Luckily for us the one shoe store in town has Keens & Merrells (my favorite walking shoes) which were on sale! In fact, everything was on sale because this store, and several more stores we noticed, is going out of business. Westport started in 1861 to supply goldminers that flocked to the area in the west coast gold rush. Eventually it transitioned to coal mining and dairy farming when the easy gold pickings played out. The coal mining is mechanizing and downsizing so the town is transitioning once again, to tourism, with mountain biking and tramping as well as surfing being highlighted. Westport is the northern most town for supplies on the west coast. Another 69 miles north is the end of the road, and the beginning (or end) of the Heaphy¬† Track, one of the 10 Great Walks of NZ.

New shoes in hand (we both found a pair!) we headed to a pub for lunch.

Huge chicken/bacon burgers and a beer!

We then headed for a pint at the local brewery, the small revitalized Shortjaw Brewery, housed in the old Miner’s Brewery that operated from the 1950’s, supplying the coal miners with a cold pint after a long shift in the mine.

They had a tasty Hazy on tap!

We finally got to the grocery store for our victuals!

Amongst the variety of ‘crisps’ as they call potato chips here, we found the 2 middle flavors; pizza and cheese bread, we didn’t find the spaghetti bolognese or the mac n’cheese flavors that Bill & Perla asked us about! We opted for the Garden Medley of vegetable crisps!

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