Nelson Lakes, Pancake Rocks, Greymouth


Oct 5th - 6th

Leaving Kaiteriteri we drove inland to the pristine Nelson Lakes National Park which surrounds two lakes. It took us almost 2 hours to reach the stunning Lake Rotoiti. The views were amazing, we didn't fancying for a swim though as there were swarms of eels around.

Then we drove to the near by Lake Rotoroa which was also stunning.

From the lakes we drove 2 hours 30 to Cape Foulwind. Not named after what you are thinking, but when Captain Cook sailed to these parts the storms and winds were dreadful.

Passed by the stunning Buller Gorge....

Then a short drive to Westport where we stopped off at New World for some food before making it down the coast to Puakaiki, where we would stay the night.

Puakaiki is home to the famous 'Pancake Rocks' a limestone landscape of pancake-shaped rock formations, blowholes and surge pools which you can take a short paved loop walk. Looking like giant pancakes the curious limestone formations are especially spectacular at high tide. As the rocks are both fragile and dangerous, it is important to stay on the path, although we seen some crazy Asian tourists not listening to the signs! The blowholes are at their best around high tide.

We stayed one night at 'Punakaiki Beach Camp' at $17pp. It was a large campsite and we had too much choice to pick a plot, however the wind was picking up and it was due to get rather windy throughout the night so we tried to shelter near trees and put all the pegs in.

In the morning we left for Greymouth, just 40 minutes down the coast. We visited Monteith's brewery, I had found a new website where we could get cheap deals, it being Jucy - the camper van rental company, they also done deals, we got half price tasting tray of 6 of the Monteith beers and ales. It was a great little experience.

From Greymouth we drove 50 minutes down the road to Lake Mahinapua, we had stayed here on the Kiwi Experience at the 'Poo Pub' run by an old eccentric guy Les, he unfortunately passed away recently, we didn't go to the Poo Pub but we did go and enjoy the lake again.

Then it was on to our final destination for the night- Franz Josef....

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