While on the Wild West Coast.
I just recently escaped to the South Island’s West Coast for the weekend and what a gorgeous place. I felt as though I was detached from the rest of NZ and the busy hustle and bustle of city (town) living. There were few people around which made the place feel kind of airy and mysterious, especially when I was out hiking (I did not see one other person except for my buddy Stella). It truly is a beautiful place and a unique part of NZ, with a rugged atmosphere, dense bush and amazing scenery.
One thing that really stood out to me was the rough beach. It is a wild world of it’s own. The waves started miles out to sea and came crashing down on the sand like a thunderstorm. It is nothing like the east coast! I managed to catch the sunset over the feisty waves which was a remarkable experience.
I was only there for a short time and I will definitely put it on my agenda to head back soon. Because I love sharing my experiences so much, here are 3 places you must visit while on the wild side.
1. Pancake Rocks
These beauties are situated about 1 hour from Hokitika in a place called Punakaiki. Wow, what incredible rock structures! I felt as though I was looking at a different part of the world, far away from NZ. There is a gorgeous walkway around the rocks which gives you a good chance to see the structures from different angles.
The thud of the waves against the rock caves is something I can’t really describe; it’s kind of like thunder but under your feet! You definitely have to go there and experience it for yourself. – While we were there the weather got the best of us and it started hailing down a storm. I tried my best to enjoy the view while getting smacked in the face! The wee café across the road was our saving grace (they do really good coffee and there was a cute fat wee sparrow to stare at!)
Overall, what an awesome experience and if you get the time to look around you will no doubt fall in love.
2. Dorothy falls
These incredible falls are situated about 30 minutes inland from Hokitika, just opposite Lake Kaniere. You will hear these falls before you see them (I even heard them before getting out of the car). The first thing I thought upon walking to the falls was how powerful they were- the water falls from really high up. The water also has this crazy muddy orange tint which gives it some extra character.
Be careful if you are venturing onto the rocks as they are a tad slippery. After you have taken in enough of the falls definitely pop over to Lake Kaniere. While we were there we managed to get a glimpse of the sun set over the surrounding mountains, bliss!
If you get time definitely make your way to these falls it’s a great way to experience nature’s immense power.
3. Hokitika gorge
Highlight of the trip. The gorge is situated about 35 minutes inland from Hokitika in an isolated spot off the beaten track. I can’t actually believe the water was that blue, it looked as though someone planted some light blue food colouring in the water. I would have loved to take a dip but it was a little cold…
The short walk into the gorge is a great experience giving you different angles of the river. Walking over the swing bridge was also a good time. While we were there a couple of fantails followed us around the rocks dancing and diving away (Fantails are so cheeky).
The gorge is also a great place to take photos. I was hoping the sun would be in the right position so the water showed off its true milky blue colour, but even without the sun shining directly on the water it was still gorgeous and dream like.
Overall, it was an awesome trip and I would go back to the West Coast anytime, next time for longer.
If you haven’t ventured over there before then put it on your to do list! Or if you’ve been let me know of some places I should go for next time! ☺