Yesterday, we drove from the city of Nelson, through Nelson Lakes National Park and stopped at Lake Rotoiti for a brief moment. From there, we drove along the coast from Nelson to Punakaiki, probably the most beautiful area I have seen thus far. Punakaiki, a very small, remote coastal town definitely is a must see. We stayed at a hostel called Te Nikau Retreat that had a wanderlust vibe about it. There are several little cabins located in the woods in that area. In Punakaiki, there are no grocery stores and only one restaurant. Luckily, we had a little bit of left over food and improvised to make due with what we had. After dinner, we hiked through the little back forest of the retreat to the private entrance of the Punakaiki beach where we watched the sunset. The Punakaiki sunset on a private beach was probably the best sunset I have ever seen. The beach with only the sound of the waves and the birds in the trees accompanying us. Pictures and words don’t do it justice. All I can say is if you get a chance, go to Punakaiki and watch the sunset on the beach, you won’t regret it. Oh, but make sure to wear pants; there are sandflies and you’ll hate yourself if you get bit.
The next morning before driving through Arthur’s Pass from Punakaiki to Christchurch, we stopped at the Pancake Rocks and blowholes. Here we saw the stacks of rocks layered to look like pancakes, as you can see in the pictures. From here, we ate at Pancake Cafe right across the street, the only cafe in a 30 mile radius, where we had the best, most overpriced stack of bacon banana pancakes. Yes overpriced, but perhaps the best pancakes I’ve ever had the privilege of tasting.
From there, it was on to Christchurch for my last night.