After a great hotel breakfast at the Kimi Ora Eco Resort we got in the car in sunny weather and drove south from Kaiteriteri.
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Our route from Kaiteriteri to Punakaiki
Our destination today was Punakaiki on New Zealand’s west coast, where we had booked our next accommodation. The road meandered through New Zealand’s green mountains. On Highway 6 you pass the “Buller Gorge Swing Bridge”, which at 110 meters is the longest suspension bridge in New Zealand.
The sea lion colony at Cape Foulwind
On our way along the State Highway we passed Cape Foulwind near the town of Westport, which is home to a sea lion breeding colony. From the parking lot there was a short way to the viewing platforms above the colony. Since the sea lion females give birth to their cubs at the end of November, we could see especially many young in the colony. It was a lively hustle and bustle – many sea lions swam in the water, some played or ruped with others and others just slept quite relaxed on the rocks. We looked at it for quite a while and then drove on.
The Pancake Rocks in Paparoa National Park
In the afternoon we arrived in Punakaiki, which is located at Paparoa National Park. The highlight in the park are the “Pancake Rocks” rocks, which look like layered egg cakes on top of each other and have therefore also got the name. From different platforms you have a great view of the rocks and the roaring sea. The water of the surf breaks at the countless rocky peaks, in caves and pushes back flowing water together with air through narrow holes in the rock, which is visible above the rocks as sparkling “blowholes”.
The next morning we went to the Pancake Rocks early in the morning to take some pictures in the early morning light. Since the sun was still hiding behind a large mountain at that time, the rocks were unfortunately partly in the shade.
A video of Pancake Rocks
Here is a short video of the Pancake Rocks and the Blowhole.
Our hotel in Punakaiki
At dusk we went to our nearby and German-run te hui house in Punakaiki.
The double-storey 5-room house is part of Punakaiki Beach Hostel and is just across the street. A private car park is right in front of the house. You check in at Punakaiki Beach Hostel and then get your key for Te Hui House. Our twin room was very simple with two separate wooden beds, but had a private bathroom with shower. Bed linen, a wool blanket and towels were provided; There is no heating in the room. There is a very large shared kitchen (equipped with everything you need for cooking) as well as large adjoining living/dining room (with TV, heating and balcony). We have received free Wi-Fi internet access – it worked very well. At the reception at the Beach Hostel you can buy a few groceries, including freshly baked bread and cakes. The owners are German and extremely nice and accommodating. We can only recommend the Te Hui House.
All travelogues from New ZealandFor 11 days we explored New Zealand from north to south by rental car on our own. We started our trip on the North Island in the city of Auckland, we experienced the tremendous underground forces in Wai-O-Tapu and Orakei Korako, we explored the capital Wellington, drove across the New Zealand Alps, did a glacier hike on the Fox Glacier, before we finished with a trip through the UNESCO World Heritage Site Milford Sound. New Zealand is a really beautiful country that we enjoyed incredibly.
North Island: Auckland – Tourist Attractions, Things to Do & Photo spots (New Zealand)
North Island: Waitomo – The Waitomo Glowworm Caves (New Zealand)
North Island: Rotorua & The geothermal area Wai-O-Tapu (New Zealand)
North Island: Orakei Korako – The geothermal region in Taupo (New Zealand)
North Island: The Tongariro Alpine Crossing & the city of Wellington (New Zealand)
North Island / South Island: Picton – The ferry from the North Island to the South Island (New Zealand)
South Island: Abel Tasman National Park – Hiking & Boat tour (New Zealand)
South Island: Pancake Rocks & the Sea Lions at Cape Foulwind (New Zealand)
South Island: The Franz Josef Glacier in Westland National Park (New Zealand)
South Island: Fox Glacier – Heli-Hike, Glacier Walk & Ice Climbing (New Zealand)
South Island: New Zealand Alps – From Franz-Josef to Milford Sound (New Zealand)
South Island: Milford Sound – A boat trip through the fjord (New Zealand)
South Island: Road to Milford Sound & the town of Queenstown (New Zealand)