Today’s weather forecast calls for a mix of rain and sun, and we’ll get both. Plus gusty winds … and not just at our starting point here at Cape Foulwind (pun intended). The breeze was to be expected since we’re right at this sandy beach on the Tasman Sea.
After breakfast and a short walk on the beach, we’re heading south on Hwy 6 towards the Fox River just south of Charleston. Here is where our guide-book highly recommends stopping to check out an undisclosed Maori Sea Cave. We park as instructed, walk across the old wooden bridge (past the “do not enter – unstable bridge” sign) and check out the carved tunnel, before crossing under the highway bridge, along the river, to get to the cave. It’s amazing! Definitely worth the stop!
As we’re approaching early afternoon, we head on towards the Paparoa National Park, where we stop for lunch at the Punakaiki Tavern before getting to the main sight of the day: the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes! As we follow along the walkway, we get to see the majestic power of the high tide waves, crushing against the rocks, pushing the water deep into the cracks and the mist through the holes to create the famous fountains of drizzle.
We timed our visit carefully to be on location right around high tide, which is when the show is on. And not to be missed! (In my opinion, the #2 sight of the trip – right after the kiwi, and before the glowworms!).
As nothing can top Punakaiki today, we head south just a bit further to Greymouth, where we check in for the night at the Kiwi Holiday Park and wrap up the day enjoying the sunset at the rocky beach.