New Zealands own Giants Causeway

Trip Start Sep 03, 2006
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34
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Trip End May 23, 2007


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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Wednesday, April 25, 2007

We left Hokitika early morning and headed up the West coast. We had decided to head inland and across to the east coast again as we had been advised to check out a place called Kaikoura (Although we had heard it was a touristy town), but firstly we also wanted to check out a place called Punakaiki which was halfway between Greymouth and Westport and was home to the appetizing name of Pancake Rocks.
To be honest we hadn't really much of a clue what to expect here but we were surprisingly happy that we had made the journey.
But before I go into this lets go on a side note again. To look at on a map, New Zealand looks to be quite a small country, just a bit bigger than Britain. However when driving along the coast you realize that as the crow flies from A-B a journey should be 5km. However, when driving this distance it is actually about 50k. Due to the rugged coastline and the countless mountains (and I mean thousands of these overgrown hills) I find my self spending most of the time driving from left to right at 25 km an hour going up and down countless winding roads, going across bridges that only fit one lane of traffic and avoiding road kill at every turn (Usually Possums), it is absolutely crazy - Homer would never have had a chance.
Anyway, we eventually arrived at Pancake rocks. They are so called because due to millions of years of erosion etc the rocks look like stacks of Pancakes. I won't try and describe them any further as we will add a few photographs to show this, but they were definitely something worth seeing. If we had been there at high tide we would also have seen the blow holes in them where the waves crash through, although we did catch one small blow hole by chance. A good experience and worthwhile trip.
After this we made our way inland.
Our plan was to stop roughly halfway across the inland trek and park up for the night, we arrived near Hanmer Springs and found a free campsite (well, a rest area that had a version of a toilet not quite seen since roman times). After parking up we remembered our wee friend Mickey the Mouse from a few days previous, who found our van in a similar type of location. Ciara was still quite spooked out by this, (and I suppose I was to a point as well). So we decided to drive the rest of the way to the East Coast, and Kaikoura where we would pay for a campsite - a tradition we have since continued as we don't think Mickey's cousins can afford to pay for a campsite and therefore we will have less chance of meeting them - well, so we tell ourselves.
We arrived in Kaikoura - Which is positioned on a small peninsula and spent the night on a campsite overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
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