A Travellerspoint blog

The Wild, Wild West

sunny 22 °C

The west coast of New Zealand’s south island has a rugged landscape of mountains, rivers, lakes and forests punctuated with numerous tourist attractions like the fur seal colony at Cape Foulwind...
...and the Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki – fascinating formations created by numerous layers of sandstone which took hundreds of thousands of years to create…
On the west coast the scenery and the weather changes faster than the automatic gearbox on our rental car and we could stop for a snapshot every 50 meters. Here is a just a tiny selection starting with a deserted beach…
…A picturesque lake…
…A snow capped peak…
…And a glacier fed river…
They all have names but, after twenty or more of each, names become unimportant. Every corner on the switchback road brings another scenic lake, river, mountain or stretch of forest… luxuriant evergreen forests bursting with all manner of fauna unique to these far-off isolated islands…
And at the end of the day, a relaxing soak in the hot springs at Franz Joseph after learning that we drove through a 4.4 earthquake and thought it was just a bumpy road...
Tomorrow – the famed Franz Joseph glacier.

Posted by Hawkson 00:39 Archived in New Zealand

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Loved those pancake rocks! Enjoy... I'm off to Thailand tomorrow.

by Sandra

You are just behind Jennifer and group. They are taking the same route to Wanaka and then going to the Mount Aspiring Park to climb something called Mount Barff. Very appropriate if I had been a passenger on a 400km coastal drive with them.

by R and B

All that beauty and a near perfect temperature too. I remember the pancake rocks at punakaiki well and the beach looks much like the black sand beaches near Hokitaka. You look well rewarded for the long drive - and you didn't need to dig in the sand for the hot water!

by Tom

New Zealand looks absolutely fascinating!
I have a niece and family in Wellington. Maybe Gord and I should pay a visit (if I ever get him back from Scotland)!
Love Peggi

by Peggi

Glad it was only a bumpy road. Beautiful photos.

by Sue Fitzwilson

Oh the earthquake. We had lots of small ones when I we lived in Wihie. One day Kelly was using the toilet on the back porch and we were accusing him of making nasty noises and we found out it was an earthquake..Jean

by Jean McLaren

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