We had chosen Punakaiki the break our journey on a whim. I had come across references to the Pancake Rocks and thought they sounded rather interesting. As it turned out, they were more than just interesting – they were spectacular.
We rolled into Punakaiki at dusk, due to a detour we had to make due to flood damage on Highway 63. We had planned on getting there mid-afternoon, to do sightseeing around the town, but we rolled with the circumstances. We were staying at the Paparoa Park Motel, and ended up in the unit closest to the sea. So, we could hear the sound of waves breaking, something I have adored from my childhood.
We woke up to a cool, cloudy day. I thought this was a less than promising start to the day, but it turned out to work in our favour. There weren’t a lot of people out to see the Pancake Rocks that day. We parked at the tourist stop across the road from the rocks, and we hiked through ferns and trees to the rocks. It wasn’t a long walk, just enough to warm me up.
We still had a way to goes that day, so we couldn’t spend the entire day exploring Punakaiki. I hope we can visit there again, for a couple of days, to see it properly. I recommend seeing them if you get the chance. We wanted to get to Fox Glacier that day. The drive into Fjord Country was dicey, with lots of stops at roadworks, and narrow, twisty roads … but the scenery made up for it!
Where we stopped for lunch had the most adorable cat. She walked in after we sat down, and immediately came up to me and demanded affection. As I was missing my own cats, I appreciated the attention. She was quite the personality. She had survived being hit by a car, and now spent much of her time asking people for adoration. And adore her I did.
We managed to get to Fox Glacier township before sunset. So we went out for dinner at the local Tavern.