Trip Start Oct 10, 2008
25Trip End Dec 07, 2008
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
Punakaiki Beach Camp
We planned to stop at a few sites en route - firstly Buller Gorge to experience the world's longest swing bridge - you could do a zipline thing back across it, which I was thinking of doing, but not really the nicest in the rain. Plus the place had a big (read HUGE) problem with SandFlies which Ade's legs will testify. The swing bridge was a bridge and then we went for a quick dash around one of the walks - looking at the fault line and then back in the van for some Sandfly swatting (a great sport could even become an Olympic event if London were wondering what to introduce!). The drive through the gorge was impressive and I imagine in good weather it would be stunning.
Then we took a little detour to Cape Foulwind to do a walk - I have to say that the waterproof trousers are becoming my favourite item of clothing - it's a great look whatever the weather!! At least the weather means you see some impressive sea action with the waves crashing against the rocks. This walk took us right out to a small penninsula with huge rock formations - which was mental with the waves all around you. At one point I saw this big creature coming up the rocks ahead of us and I have to admit (the shame) that for a split second I thought 'OMG it's a bear' - obviously this would be an impossibility, I must just have bear spotting continually on my mind. It turned out to be a big seal who was keen to keep an eye on us and where we were going.
Then we actually went to the seal colony and watched the frolicking about in the water and some little ones lying on the rocks - at least seals are a reliable creature and are actually where they're meant to be - other creatures should take note - particularly the Candadian ones!
We then pootled off to Punakaiki which is home to the pancake rocks (an actual rock formation rather than an exclamation of how great pancakes are) and the blow holes. The weather was still wet. We booked into the motor camp and went walking to the rocks. V impressive even in the wet. We had timed it about right with the tide being in and saw & heard some amazing waves crashing & water coming up through the blow holes. This is one of the most amazing things - a must for any NZ travellers.
The next morning we had a VVVVV early start as the rugby was on - Wales vs NZ - fortunately the pub 2 mins walk away was showing the action. With quite a few other Welsh supporters watching. Obviously not the best result, but was a good to watch it.
Unfortunately it was still raining, but more driving today towards the glaciers....