So I admit that I am prone to extreme “cheesiness” at times. In the midst of my travel planning, I proclaimed to the BFF that I must eat pancakes when I visit the phenomenon icon – Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki!
Punakaiki must be the smallest town, area destination in New Zealand that I have travelled to (for the moment). Located at the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island, it sits somewhere in the middle between Greymouth and Westport.
Besides the Pancake Rocks attraction and a national park, two cafes/restaurants, two local crafts shops, a visitor centre (I-Site) and a postbox in what seems (to me at least) to be a long stretch of road make up Punakaiki.
Despite its seclusion, this “town” is the main gateway to the dramatic limestone country of the Paparoa National Park. Unsurprisingly (due to it being on the West Coast), Punakaiki also boost one of the most spectacular coastal highways in New Zealand.
I was told that summer attracts flocks of surfers and beachgoers. My supposedly untimely arrival during the cold winter couldn’t have been more ideal for me (of course the free room upgrade was well-appreciated!). Punakaiki signifies the real beginning of a lone journey. For once, there is no one waiting for me at my destination and I have all the time in the world. It was a time for myself. It was a time for reflection.
Amid the cold and occasional drizzle, I walked down the road without a single soul in sight. The network could not be detected. On my left, waves crashed angrily along the coastline. On my right, towering green forestry stood tall and stable. I held on to my ice-cream and walked on. No cars passed me. I was all alone in this magnificent country. A sense of loneliness sets in but it was not an unpleasant feeling. I know that a beautiful sunset awaits me at the end of my stroll.
The West Coast is famous for her spectacular sunsets. Somewhere out there in remote Punakaiki, I am happy to capture this postcard scenery.