Day 14: Hokitika - Punakaiki


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March 27th 2011
Published: March 28th 2011
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Shantytown...Shantytown...Shantytown...

... even comes with authentic West Coast weather!!!!!
Day 14 – Sunday the 27th of March

Only one week left of our honeymoon. If only we could win the lottery, then we could be free to roam the world in campers. It’s official, we truly believe camper van holidays are the only holidays to have. So much fun!

From Lake Mahinapua we drove to Hokitika to see the glass blowing studio, apparently it’s a must if you’re passing through the town. Being on holiday you totally lose track of the days of the week. It’s Sunday today....hehe. So the glass blowers weren’t there as it’s their weekend. We took a look around the studio at the ridiculously priced pieces and decided on a smaller, much cheaper momento.

Shantytown was our next adventure stop. It said in the brochures to allow 90mins to soak it all up but we took over 2 ½ hours. We must have timed it well as the day before their new attraction had opened - the holographic theatre, it was earth shattering, literally. Scared the crap out of Renee. It told the story of the Gold mining times and the building of a walking track. While testing the track, the head surveyor was killed by a band of unruly men. One of the highway men was named Sullivan......apparently Matt’s surname means “son of Sullivan”. This didn’t sit well with Renee. She was never told Matt was a descendant of a murderous thief.

Then it was time to restock our beast, so off to the supermarket we went in Greymouth. A cart full of wine later, oh and some food, we were back on the road.

We had planned our day around high tide, in order to see the pancake rocks at Punakaiki. High tide was at 6.30pm, apparently the best time to see them as they form blowholes. When we arrived the weather had set in and was here to stay. So we wrapped up, warm and dry, and followed the track down to the rocks. It was freezing, blowing a huge gale and we were pretty drenched, but hopeful of seeing some serious blowhole action (people with dirty minds, please get back on track). We were bitterly disappointed. No blowhole action!

Then it was a long drive up to Lyell, our third DOC site in a row. Was pitch black when we arrived and was marked on the map as a town, so were looking out of civilization. By the time we realised we had overshot the mark, we were about 10km away from our destination, no thanking the GPS this time. After some quick beast manoeuvring and manual map deciphering, we found our way to the poorly signposted DOC site. Ensuring to keep away from the muddy grass ahead, we settled in on the gravel. More to come on this site tomorrow...what a find!



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