Thursday, February 14, 2013

A trip to the beautiful Westcoast of New Zealand, Thur 14 Feb

Thursday, February 14, 2013
oldbearnews editor
Another lazy morning!!

Hmm, sleeping in seems to be getting the norm now. Anyhow there is no rush as high tide was not until 2pm-ish so had brekkie from 8-9 am. Drove up to Punakaki and first stopped at the info center to check up on the Pororari river walk. It is a nice and gentle graded walk along the river with lots of ferns / red and white Beech and Nikau Palms lining the edges of the river bed - along with the odd "im-mature" 100 year old Rimu sapling.

It takes about 1hr and some 20 minutes one way - but that is not allowing for the photo stops. It is a track we often take our scouts and teach them planning a hiking expedition complete with meals and gas cookers and water and weights and who carries what etc. At the end of the track you pretty much have three options:
One - just to simply return
Two - return to Punakaki via another track (1hr 15min)
Three - visit the Cave creek area and then return or walk out at the Cave Creek walkway (which puts you further north from Punakaki. We took the easy option - only because we wanted to get back to where we had the car parked for us. In-between we sat in the river bed - where Mamabear got her feet wet yet again (seems to be a habit of hers to get feet wet at any watery tributary) and just enjoyed the peace and quietness. The turning point also contains yet another swing bridge and this one does rather swing. It is a good place to play the game of the Farmer who had a Wolf and a cabbage and a Goat and needing to take all three to the market but can take (due to safety reasons) only one item at a time across the bridge. Of course you cannot leave the goat and the cabbage alone together as the goat would eat the greenery and neither can you leave the Wolf and the goat alone - for obvious reasons. H O W would you get all three across without loosing one of your sale-able items??? Funny to see the scouts run forwards and backwards across the bridge trying to solve this puzzle!!

We were totally alone with water / air and sound - no other people present and most surprising even the local sand-flies declined to visit us. Also saw many a times some good reflections on the water.  Naturally took lots more pictures!!

All to soon we had to make tracks again and head back - not wanting to miss out on high tide at the Rocks and we did need some lunch. While walking back to the carpark we came across at least 6 sets of couples - not one of them a Kiwi. It was like someone opened a nest or something. At the Cafe at Punakaki a Bus came - ( a regular daily feature) and disgorged 30 something young tourists. Soon the place was crowded. There are only three commercial places at Punakaki - a genuine Cafe, a gift shop with a coffee/cake addition and the local Info center with postcards gifts etc AND acting as the local DOC office (Department of Conservation). We bought a postcard and wrote 10 or so words - then posted it to Salzburg - and then it was time to see the pancake rocks. By now the tide was right up and that is the best of time to see them. The only other time it will be better is if there was / is a southerly or westerly storm with decent storm surges. Anyhow - for the first time in many many visits the blow holes -well - actually blew!!

Good stuff - took lots and lots of pictures and a couple of videos which I will need to upload to You-tube. Lots of 'uhhhhss' and 'aaaahhhhssss'  coming form the plentiful crowd - obviously appreciating what spectacle mother nature provided. We could have stayed longer - but we had to get to Greytown for some supplies and then pay Robin and Steve a visit. Robin and Steve are the Westcoast knife makers and myself have been there 4 times now - (I have three knives) and we often take scouts there for a long weekend. Reason we had to see them was to pay our bill for the "Doll house". While there we met the 12 people who made their own knifes. Little did we know that two of them would freedom-camp later down at the beach and we would meet again. Back to house at 6 pm and a late dinner – then back down to beach to last westcoast sunset (which turned out to be another write-off) however as previously mentioned we met 2 knife carving people. Had drinkies there and nice long chat. Time to go home and contemplate next days drive home to Christchurch and the reality of needing to go back to work (for Mamabear) sigh

bear print

0 Leave ur comment here :

◄Design by Pocket