© 2011 notworkrelated - David Rutter & Helen Roscoe. All rights reserved. notworkrelated_nz_punakaiki_15

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 up. Next we drove to Tauraunga Bay where we went on a 2 hour walk out to the lighthouse and back with a few stops to look at the beautiful newborn seal pups resting on the rocks. There is a historic lighthouse at the furthest point of the trail and it’s a good stop off point to stretch the legs whilst on the road to Punakaiki.

When we got to Punakaiki we decided to park the van at the Punakaiki Motor Park, they’re the only campsite located within walking distance of the rocks and we were cautious about where to park the van. After a quick check with the DOC office located at the I-site we decided to hike along one of the canyon paths for the afternoon and visit the pancake rocks later on for high tide. The hike took us through lush tropical forest along the Pororari River and ended at the swing bridge before turning around and making tracks back again. We came across kayakers on the river enjoying the few and far between rapids.

Back at camp we settled into our routine of cooking (Helen cooked a delicious curry from the Wholemeal Cafe cookbook!) and washing and after chatting to our friendly New Zealand neighbours, who offered us a sample of their whitebait fritters we walked up the road to the rocks. Punakaiki is a small place much to Dave’s surprise but it does hole a lot of charm and the shoreline heading up towards the rocks is really impressive.

At the pancake rocks it was a little on the quiet side in terms of actual blow holes taking place, however the roar of the ocean bellowing through the rocks below was impressive alone. We sat and listened to the waves crashing in whilst taking in the rare rock formations. On our way back we walked alongside the ocean and stopped to take it all in, the sea was pretty wild and we took our time.

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

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