The Trip down the West Coast


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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Punakiaki
February 20th 2007
Published: March 5th 2007
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The Drive Down the West Coast of the South Island in nz is beautiful. It has such a strange combination of rugid beaches with vast Mountains boarding next to them - weird heh? We stopped in a place called westport Where I decided to try and put some of my training from Australia in surfing to the shores of New Zealand. I went to an area called Tauranga Bay well known to be a good venue for surfing. It was good fun but the water currents in nz are extremely strong not to mention all the undercurrents. I did Okay but I don't think I'm really cut out for surfing. I had a few major takeouts which were funny.
We then continued South along the West Coast where we stopped in a place called Punakaiki which is renound for its interesting Pancake Rocks. These rocks look as though they have been layered on top of each other in thin strips. Scientists can't explain why this has happened yet? It was really weird. We also the famous Blow Holes there too. Which in high tide shoot water out of small holes in the rocks due to the sheer force of the sea waves.
It was at Punakaiki where we saw some amazing sunsets where I have given just one example of the beauty of the sunsets on the West Coast. WoW!
Next we did another tramp called 'The Inland Pack Track' situated in Punakaiki. The walk was a beautiful walk through the rainforests and involved alot of river crossings in fact about 3/4's of the walk was walking in the river. It was really cool. We got to walk through beautiful limestone cliffs following te river downstream.
Towards the end of the day we had to cross a river seemed to high to cross. I tested the height of the water as it was the only route, and the depth forced me to swim. Luckily I managed to find a small strip lower down stream that wasn't as deep. I had to carry my bag at full arms length above my head to keep it dry, with the water reaching upto my neck! It was really fun!!!
We camped at a really intriging setting under a overhanging cave it was cool!
The next day we finished the walk and hitched a ride back to Punikaiki to travel to our next location -
Me surfingMe surfingMe surfing

'Westport'- Tauranga Bay
Hokitika where we had planned to make a Jade carving. I have become a big fan of Jade/ Greenstone, so i thought I would make my own design. So that evening we stayed at this place called Just jade experience which is a hostel but also the carving place. I chose to do a design called 'The Manaia' which is a Maori traditional symbol which supposidly protects you from evil. It includes the three elements of the universe in Maori History - Sky, Earth, and Water. This is represented by the symbol having a head of a bird to represent skywhich is also the guardian symbol also. Then the body of a man to represent earth and a tail of a fish for water. This symbol is supposed to hold supernatural powers! cool heh?
I was really happy with the finished product. After i took 7 straight hours polishing the damn thing. lol


Additional photos below
Photos: 14, Displayed: 14


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Me surfingMe surfing
Me surfing

\'Westport\'- Tauranga Bay
Me surfingMe surfing
Me surfing

\\\'Westport\\\'- Tauranga Bay
The Pancake RocksThe Pancake Rocks
The Pancake Rocks

And their weird rock formation
Punakaiki BeachsunsetPunakaiki Beachsunset
Punakaiki Beachsunset

theres so many colours - wow
The Inland Pack trackThe Inland Pack track
The Inland Pack track

Our opening view of our walk.
The Inland Pack trackThe Inland Pack track
The Inland Pack track

Our Estuary Walking
The Inland Pack trackThe Inland Pack track
The Inland Pack track

The limestone Cliff Gorge
Ballroom OverhangBallroom Overhang
Ballroom Overhang

Our camp spot - cool heh?
Hokitika Jade CarvingHokitika Jade Carving
Hokitika Jade Carving

Here's my jade design named the Manaia in Maori (TOP LEFT)
Hokitika Jade CarvingHokitika Jade Carving
Hokitika Jade Carving

Me and Rich polishing the carving into shape. it took me seven hours constant! my hands were killing me after lol!


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