Thursday, April 30, 2015

Crikey...We're in Punakaiki!


After a wonderful two days in Hanmer Springs, Nick and Katherine let us borrow their car so we could make our way to the West Coast - and see more of this amazing country!

The problem with New Zealand was not having enough places to pull the car over and take that incredible picture. Even still, I managed to snap some good ones - although, as you probably know, the photo never does it justice!

Our first clear view of the mountains. I made it exactly 10 minutes driving before I needed to pull over and snap this

We were heading towards the West Coast via Lewis Pass

We drove into an area that had some snow. The boys needed to get out and hold it in their hand for a pic (Hard to believe they've forgotten about it already)

...and into the mountains we go!

After a few hours driving, we stopped in Reefton for a picnic lunch before pushing onto the West Coast. It was a quaint little town that had some history and a lovely main street.

This billboard said that you could turn the wheel to "power" the streetlight nearby. We all tried but couldn't get it to light!

Cooler temperatures and crisp air - but lovely colours in the trees

We returned to the road...

One of the best things about this road trip was that, other than the hotel that we needed to make it to before bedtime - we really did have the whole day to explore. On the way, we spotted a road sign for "Cape Foulwind" and a seal colony. Chy and I looked at each other and agreed that we had to check it out! Seals! We were all really excited!

Spotted our first weka (one of many NZ flightless birds)

This is where we were walking to the lookout

Can you see them?

We could see why it was called "Foulwind"

The seals! The little pups were adorable!

We're a long way from home!

Had a look through the scope for some blue penguins - but no luck today:(

This is a really important spot for seabirds apparently.

The rough Tasman Sea was an incredible sight along our West Coast drive towards Paparoa National Park

We arrived at our hotel, the Punakaiki Resort, and learned that our room was right on the water with a view overlooking the waves! Wow!

The highlight of Punakaiki has to be the Pancake Rocks and Blowhole. We heard that the closer to high tide it gets, the better it is to see the action. We quickly got ready, made dinner reservations for our return, and headed out to watch the sunset in Punakaiki!

Off we go again!

The Enigmatic Pancake Rocks

And then...the Blowhole showed itself!

Liam's photo-taking skills are improving substantially! Thanks bud!


We had a lot of fun!

We liked it so much - we walked around it all again to watch the sun fully set!

This was the water steam blowing out of the "chimney pot" from the waves crashing in




I, literally, could not take enough photos of this place at sunset. Apparently, I wasn't the only one who though so - this is the shot I got as we were leaving of all the others trying to capture the moment.

Crikey - we loved Punakaiki!


  1. Great post guys. Gets the "seal" of approval! N

  2. Thanks Nick - appreciate it, mate! It's a beautiful country - and you guys picked some terrific spots for us to see:)