We made our way down the West Coast from Gentle Annie, through Westport and on to the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks. These striated limestone formations are formed by the erosion from the sea and are as spectacular as I remembered. It was a must-see on my list for Gregory. They are supposed to be at their most stupendous at high tide, as the sea comes rushing in through the blowholes. We missed high tide by just a couple of hours but still enjoyed the magnificence of these rock formations.
Mike and I both commented how different it felt from 15 years ago. There now is a large “i” site (information centre) and gift shop and all of the walkways are well paved with railings. Later we were told that since there have been some accidents with tourists that have been a bit too eager to get off the track and too close to the drop offs, the country has made a huge effort to make various tourist attractions as safe as possible. For us it takes away from the experience a bit but I can see how it is necessary. It just goes to show that you can’t go back. Enjoy the unspoiled treasures while you can!
It had been a gray day for the most part but the sun came out in the afternoon affording us spectacular views as we made our way down the coastline. In the evening it was socked in again and we had a wet stay in the Kiwi Camp at Greymouth but we had our first campground with a spa! We had a soak and hot showers and I was early to bed for the rainy night in the tent but Mike and Greg stayed up in the kitchen for a bit and gave tips to other travelers!