Christchurch - Greymouth

Punakaiki Travel Blog

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Otira Gorge

By the time I had driven around the car park at the car rental place I had pretty much figured out how to drive an automatic car... when stationary keep your foot on the brake... when you want to start moving press accelerator gently (do not stomp down on it..........)

The plan for today was to drive 240km across the country to Greymouth.  Our drive would take us along Arthurs Pass - the mountain pass in the NZ Southern Alps which lies between the valleys of the Otira River and Bealey River.  It also marks part of the boundary between Westland and Canterbury.  As we would be on one road pretty much the whole journey I was keeping my fingers crossed that there had not been a rock slide or flood or anything that would close the road!

It didn't take long for me to fall in love with New Zealand.

Otira Gorge
.. the scenery is stunning!  The further away from Christchurch we drove the less there was, just random houses in the middle of nowhere... unless there was a supermarket hidden behind the forests people that live in the middle of Arthurs pass have to drive for miles and miles to get to the supermarket...

The road that we were driving on literally took us directly to our hotel in Greymouth - The Ashley Hotel - our room was really nice and very clean - the receptionist was very helpful and gave us loads of information about what there was around the town etc.  There is a restaurant in the hotel, or there is a KFC and little supermarket just down the road.  Once we had put my luggage in the hotel room we headed back out to go to Punakaiki.

First views of Southern Alps

Punakaiki is on the West Coast of the South Island and is on the edge of the Paparoa National Park, the main attraction at Punakaiki are the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes at Dolomite Point.  The Pancake Rocks are eroded limestone blocks and during high tide the sea is forced through the vertical Blowholes.  There are numerous walks that you can do to get to different viewing platforms to see the rocks and blowholes... unfortunately we were there at low tide so did not get to see the blowholes, but we could still see the Pancake Rocks, which are amazing.  You can even make out patterns and faces in the rocks if you look at them long enough!

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Otira Gorge
Otira Gorge
Otira Gorge
Otira Gorge
First views of Southern Alps
First views of Southern Alps
Southern Alps!
Southern Alps!
More Alps
More Alps
more Southern Alps
more Southern Alps
Pancake Rocks Punakaiki
Pancake Rocks Punakaiki
Punakaiki
Punakaiki
Punakaiki
Punakaiki
Punakaiki
Punakaiki
Punakaiki
Punakaiki
Punakaiki - Pancake Rocks!
Punakaiki - Pancake Rocks!
Pancake Rocks... see the faces?!
Pancake Rocks... see the faces?!
Punakaiki - Pancake Rocks!
Punakaiki - Pancake Rocks!
Punakaiki - Pancake Rocks!
Punakaiki - Pancake Rocks!
Punakaiki - Pancake Rocks!
Punakaiki - Pancake Rocks!
Punakaiki - Pancake Rocks!
Punakaiki - Pancake Rocks!
Punakaiki - Pancake Rocks!
Punakaiki - Pancake Rocks!
Punakaiki
Punakaiki
Punakaiki
Punakaiki
Punakaiki
Punakaiki
Punakaiki
Punakaiki
Punakaiki
Punakaiki
Punakaiki
Punakaiki
Punakaiki
photo by: Paulovic