© 2011 notworkrelated - David Rutter & Helen Roscoe. All rights reserved. notworkrelated_new_zealand_okarito_07

New Zealand – Punakaiki Pancake Rocks / Okarito – 8th Dec

The following morning we revisited the pancake rocks to see if the high tide was making more of a blowing impression but it was not to be. Instead it was very grey and still, but once again this is not a place to be disappointed by as the true beauty is to look across the rocks and listen to the roaring waves. We also stopped at the Punakaiki Cavern, some caves that go quite far back into the rock face worthy of a 20 minute explore. Take a torch and some good footwear as its very slippery down there.

After we’d had our second dose of the rocks and a little peak into the giftshop we started our drive south towards Franz Josef. En-route we stopped at Hokitika renowned for it’s greenstone and gem factories. We popped into the friendly I-site and got a map of the town, it’s not a very big place so we figured we would tick off most of the central attractions. We must confess though that we did get a little bored of the greenstone shops and galleries as it’s all a ploy to sell their beautiful greenstone to you!

We weren’t convinced of buying any for ourselves, and instead opted for some free wifi at the Cafe de Paris where Dave enjoyed an excellent hot chocolate. We also decide to book ourselves onto another sky-dive attempt! This time we were targeting the Franz Josef Sky Dive company whose claim to fame is that they offer the highest skydive in New Zealand at 18,000 feet!! We were interested in a 15,000 feet dive and they had availability for the next morning. So back on the road and we drove a further hour or so to Okarito, a small residential village centred around the Okarito Nature Reserve.

As soon as we arrived we felt like we’d stepped back in time, the camping ground is beautiful and located in a sheltered spot away from the sea. It’s a community camping ground ran by locals and so the $12/person fee is really good value, plus the showers are free which is always a nice bonus.

For the afternoon we did an energetic hike around the Three Mile Pack Track – Ōkārito Coastal Walk, around 8km in total with a steep hill to finish. The first part of the walk goes along the seafront and can only be reached at low tide.

Later on we enjoyed left over curry from the night before and got to know Uta and Oliver who’d also stayed in Punakaiki the previous night. We were all heading in the same direction and after much chat decided we would meet at Gillespies beach DOC camping ground the following night for a spot of freedom camping.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f/2.0, Leica 90mm f/2.8, Zeiss 18mm f/4 ZM processed in Lightroom 3)

Related posts that may be of interest to you:

  1. New Zealand – Tauraunga Bay / Punakaiki – 7th Dec We started out early and drove to Westport to have our breakfast as there were less sand flies and a supermarket for us to stock...
  2. New Zealand – Wanaka – 11th/12th Dec It was quite a drive from Franz Josef to Wanaka so we broke up the journey with an overnight stop at the DOC campground located...
  3. New Zealand – Whananaki – 9th November We started the day with a trip to a Pak’n'Save, there is one located 10 minutes north of Newmarket, although we stumbled across it. We...
  4. New Zealand – Motueka / Nelson – 3rd/4th Dec We struggled to find a place to camp the night before on our way over to the Nelson region from Blenheim, so we opted for...

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>