Day 18: A very remote New Years Eve

What a lovely surprise this morning: we woke up to a blue sky with a few white clouds in it and the temperature was still a lovely 20 degrees. After a wonderful breakfast, this time with eggs on toast with some smoked salmon on the side, we decided to warm up a little more and lie on the breach for an hour before commencing or trip to Punakaiki.

Right after we lied down on the lovely golden sand of Kaiteriteri the clouds started getting in the way of the sun and the wind picked up. After the hour had passed the temperature had dropped to an uncomfortable level and we decided it was a good time to leave the ocean and head out.

Right before we left we shopped for groceries, as the accommodation we had booked in Punakaiki was to be self catered. As it is the 31st of December today, we figured everything would be closing early. Also, Punakaiki is a really small town, so it would be quite something if there would be anything at all!
We bought ingredients for a homemade burger with chicken, and set out on the 4 hour drive down south.

It turned out that leaving was a good idea: throughout the drive the rains differed from just rain to downright torrential, only to lift minutes prior to us arriving at our destination.
The place would be called Havenz but we are directed to go to the Canoe Building.

Apparently, the guy who owns the houses also built them, but he does not run the day to day business. This means he does the bookings, but does not hand out the keys. This is done by the guy who rents out canoes, and he made a mistake just before we arrived.
He gave our room to the wrong people, and left us with the wrong one.

Usually, this would be quite nice, but as the house we should get was not quite the same as the one we got, a switch had to be made. We should get a room, but instead we got a huge three story house with 5 rooms and enough space to live in.
Unfortunately, we had to leave it and instead got a single room on the ground floor level of a 2 story house down the road.
Not luxuriously upholstered like the other one, no Wi-Fi, no cellphone reception, and most importantly it is a shared place. In total 5 families in one very noisy house. Wonderful.

Let’s just say this was one of the more memorable New Years Eves in quite a while. 🙂
Eerily quiet and no fireworks, with the rain steadily falling: different.
We did however get to see the most beautiful sunset in NZ yet at the Truman Track, a walkway leading from our house connects to the track. That was quite an interesting walk after the sun had set through the dark forest!

Before we checked in at our house, we went to see the two main attractions of Punakaiki: Pancake Rocks and the Blowholes.
These are really picturesque!
The rocks are limestone layers, wedged in between mudstone slabs. The erosion of the mudstone is faster, which shows the layering even better. The blowholes are vents of underground caves where the ocean swells break in. These vents then spew out the air and spray to form nice white columns above the ground.

Also, we walked the Truman Track to two hidden and beautiful coves. If you ever go to Punakaiki: go there!

Tomorrow, we are driving to Fox Glacier. It should take us about 4 hours, let’s see what it is like over there!