Monday, 16 April 2012

Punakaiki Pancake rocks.


After  a nice couple of days in Greymouth it was time to head a bit further north. On our route to Cape Foulwind are the Punakaiki Pancake rocks which we planned to visit. Arriving at the rocks we pulled into the car park which doesn’t really cater for large vehicles but we managed to squeeze ourselves in. I was immediately accosted by an American tourist asking if I had any spare gas on board.

Punakaiki Pancake rocks on the West Coast.Punakaiki Pancake rocks on the West Coast.

After ascertaining exactly what sort of gas,LPG, petrol or diesel he told me that his rental car was low on petrol and he didn’t think he had enough to get to Greymouth. He admitted he had seen signs advising that fuel wasn’t available for 90km’s but thought he would make it. Luckily we had 5 litre’s of petrol for our generator which I offered to him at an agreed price which he readily accepted with a red face. After sorting him out we eventually set off for the walk out to view the Punakaiki Pancake rocks.

Enormous cave and blow hole at Punakaiki rocks.Enormous cave and blow hole at Punakaiki rocks.

Since we last visited this tourist spot the Department of Conservation have done a lot of work putting in more viewing points and expanding the pathway around the site.The pancake rocks are very spectacular if you catch them with the high tide and a westerly wind. Unfortunately we missed the 7.20am high tide and the next is of course 12 hours later but the swell was producing a reasonable display around the caves and blow holes.

This rock has holes through it's base and water squirts out in all directions.This rock has holes through it's base and water squirts out in all directions.

Returning to the car park we found that we were jammed in by some inconsiderate motorist with a car and trailer parking alongside us in a No Parking area. All we could do was wait for the drivers return and have some lunch. Three quarters of an hour later and he still hadn’t returned but 2 cars in parking bays behind me left giving me space in which to manoeuvre.

Stairway through the Punakaiki rocks.Stairway through the Punakaiki rocks.Coastal view North of the Punakaiki rocks.Coastal view north of the Punakaiki rocks.

Finally arriving at Cape Foulwind we found our camp site where we were told there was no charge as long as we had a drink in the bar of the  Tavern and picked up Cabbage Tree leaves on the site so the the owner (the publican) could mow the grass without getting the mower clogged. No sooner said than done, I even split some logs for firewood in the bar.

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