New Zealand South: Punakaiki rocks and the West Coast

NZ: Day 24

Leaving Westport

The bus departed Westport in the morning and spent much of the day driving along the Coastal Road (highway 6) down to Franz Josef.
To say the drive was stunning, would do it little justice; Sometimes there are things that you have to do and see for yourself to really grasp the awe and beauty of such a place. It reminded me a lot of the famous Big Sur, Pacific Coastal road in California that I drove on my own last year- both are equally stunning drives!

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Bods stopped off fairly frequently at the top of several of the climbs- many of which I didn’t think the bus had the power to make it to the summit. We were treated with some of the best natural views that New Zealand has to offer.

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Further along the Coast we stopped off for a 30-40 minute hike along the cliffs and down to the Volcanic beaches. Along the way we managed to come across a Kiwi bird- the iconic emblem and symbol of New Zealand. It unfortunately furrowed back into the undergrowth before I could take a picture.

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Punakaiki Rocks

Continuing our weaving along the coast we arrived at Punakaiki rocks- also known as the Pancake rocks and one of the more famous and touristic destinations along the drive. Here, the sea bursts through eroded blowholes in the rock, like lava bubbling from a volcano.
The rocks are formed in mounted layers, like stacks of pancakes- hence the name. Its worth checking out and a good stop off for lunch.

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We continued our hopping on and off of the bus the whole way down the incredible Coastline until we hit Franz Josef in the afternoon.
Franz Josef is a compulsory two night stop on the Kiwi Bus and so it was great to catch up with friends and allegiances that were on the bus ahead of us…post to follow.

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