Mmmmm, yummy pancakes :P

Trip Start Feb 28, 2009
Trip End Apr 12, 2009

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Saturday, March 28, 2009

After our exhausting time in Marahau, a village consisting of about two camp grounds, one restaurant and seven water taxi companies, we were ready to hit the road again. Hokitika, the next place we wanted to visit, was over 5 hours away by car. Not willing to spend the entire day in the car and unable to see our surroundings, we deciced to split that drive up over two days.

The first day of driving took us from Marahau to Westport, a drive that was pretty enough, but rather uninteresting. We expected the Buller Gorge swingbridge (the longest swingbridge in New Zealand) to be of interest to us, but it turned out to be a disappointment. The bridge is on private land and the owners charge a fee to cross the bridge, which is all good and fine... What we however DID find annoying was the fact that you have to go through their ticket office (and thus pay) in order to see the bridge at all. Being the chickens that we are (Martijn isn't the only one that dislikes bridges that sway when you walk across them), we wanted to first SEE the bridge and THEN determine whether we were going to cross it.
So we gave this a total miss and drove onwards. Oh, and the fact that the place was filled with sandflies didn't help either... We were having a relaxing day, but those little pests made us RUN for the car ;)

The reason we decided to make Westport the stop point is because the stretch between Marahau and Hokitika is rather empty when it comes to towns and places to stay. Thankfully Westport is situated about 3 hours from Marahau and 2 hours from Hokitika AND has vital things like a gas station, food store and a motel :P. Judging by the amount of motels in the town however, all of the 6000 inhabitants must work in the tourist-industry in some manner. Which is impressive considering there isn't really anything THERE for tourists to see or do. So we gladly took the opportunity to recover further and work on our travelblog (Is everyone enjoying it still? :P).

Just like in every other place we have stayed at so far, in Westport we also had to check out before 10am. WHY this is the case everywhere, we don't know. We are used to check-out times of 11am or even noon, both of which are quite nice and comfortable for a tourist that enjoys seeing the sights and crashing into bed exhausted most evenings. But here it is 10am, meaning we have to get up at 8.30 in order to have enough time to re-pack and be half presentable before we head out.
Thus we were on the road leaving Westport rather early.

Following the coast-line towards Hokitika, we stopped in Punakaiki, known for its Pancake Rocks. They are layered rocks that look like stacks of pancakes (Bet you never would have guessed THAT from the name, eh ;)). The reason for the rather unique looking rock formations is that the limestone there consists of alternating hard and soft layers which erode at different speeds, thus creating the pancake-stack look.
As we both are quite fond of pretty and weird nature, we ended up spending a lot of time here taking many pictures of every weird and pretty little formation that we could spot. The walk that takes 20 minutes and goes past all the features therefor took over half an hour for us. And we EVEN did it a second time to enjoy the improved light conditions when the sun came out.

A little later we arrived at Hokitika and we were intending to go for a walk on the beach or even visit the glow-worms across the street, but the weather interfered. Within minutes of us arriving at the camp grounds that we were staying at it started to rain heavily (and sideways as well due to the high winds). So our evening was reduced to a trip to the food store and then dinner in our cabin... Giving us yet AGAIN time to catch up on our travelblog and postcard-writing...

This might have been our first time since arriving in New Zealand that we have had proper bad weather, and it really makes sleeping so much better :D
(The rain we had in Wellington was a light drizzle in comparison... :P)
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bluejeans on

Checking out
I guess us Kiwis are just so proud of our beautiful country that we assume (never ASSUME - it makes an ASS out of U and an Australian boss once told me...seems BEER (aka XXXX) isnt the only thing they have trouble spelling :D) where was I...oh yes :P...(shades of Billy Connolly - wandering off on a tangent but SOMEHOW always managing to finish the original subject :P)...assume that all visitors are SO keen to see as MUCH of NZ as possible that they LEAP out of bed at the crack of dawn so as not to miss anything :D. Well its a good theory and Im sticking to it :P

wolftrails on

Re: Pancake rocks
Veel geluk met het raden wie welke foto gemaakt heeft :P
Wij vragen ons ook af of het te zien is of niet, of we een duidelijk verschillende stijl hebben...

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