New Zealand Diary: Pancake Rocks, Hokitika

Following the Buller River to the Tasman Sea, touring the Pancake Rocks and visiting Hokitika.

DAY 16, DECEMBER 29, 2017

From Murchison, we drove along the Buller River. At Buller Gorge we saw New Zealands longest swingbridge and decided to give it a try.

Do you know the saying „Everything you want is on the other side of fear?“
There was nothing I wanted to see on the other side of this bridge, so I gave it a pass. My sister, however, was very brave and crossed the bridge!

And as is sometimes the case with „instant karma“, because I had not faced my one phobia, I was confronted with another phobia: this Weka was harassing me at the rest area where I was waiting for my sister. The bird was quite pushy, wanted to get my backpack and was not afraid of me at all – the opposite was the case…

If you google „Weka“, you receive this answer: „The weka is a large, brown flightless bird that has a famously feisty and curious personality.“
All in all, it was a hilarious situation – and at least I was able to check off one of the native bird species that you can only spot in New Zealand.

We drove along the coast for the rest of the day. First to Punakaiki to see the famous Pancake Rocks.

Being an absolute pancake lover, I had been tempted by the idea of the ‚Pancake Rocks‘ from the moment I first heard their name. I really wanted to see them!!

The different rock formations and cliffs were totally fascinating.

The rocks got their stacked pancake appearance through ’stylobedding‘. Layers of sea animals and plants settled on the seabed and gradually sank below the ground. Pressure fossilised the layers, and hard and soft layers of limestone sediments and clay minerals were formed. Seismic activity brought the rock back to the surface and it has since been eroded by wind and water and acid rain.

Can you see the rock-fringed swirling seaweed? It’s called „Giant Mermaid’s Hair“. It is the only seaweed in the world to possess an inflated, gas-filled ‚honeycomb blade‘ that floats on the surface of the sea.

I really *love* pancakes. No matter what form they are in. Whether it’s crêpes, American pancakes, Palatschinken, dropped scones, Dutch Babies, Pikelets, Blini or galettes, I enjoy them all.
So it was obligatory to eat pancakes at the Pancake Café at the Pancake Rocks 🙂

I chose the ‚Chocolate Duet‘, a duet of black and white chocolate pancakes, served with(out) cream, chocolate sauce with an orange twist, and a strong coffee. (I got the third pancake instead of the cream)

We then drove on to Hokitika, where we had accommodation at the 252 Beachside Motel & Holiday Park.

We went for a very long walk on the beach. The weather and the view of the Tasman Sea were great. We enjoyed the wind and the sea air very much.

I picked up some stones on the beach there to take home as souvenirs.

This is one of my small watercolours from the series I painted right after our return. It was inspired by the Hokitika Sign.

Our dinner that day was once again Asian (Indian), because that was usually the best option for us vegetarians.

After dark we went to the Glowworm Dell and looked at fireflies – was kind of funny and weird….

The watercolours I painted for the day were inspired by the ocean, the surf as well as the lights in the glowworm grotto.