Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Trek down the West Coast of South Island

We had decided to take the road down the west coast of South Island as it was supposed to be far more scenic than the drive down the east coast.  I did miss seeing Kaikoura which I had wanted to see but the scenery delivered on the West Coast and the driving was not as bad as some of the roads we had driven on in the north although still twisty.  Our first scenic visit along the way was to the Pancake Rocks which are pictured above and feature layer after layer of rock.  As we were going south, we were seeing more and more evidence of the glacial history.  The river beds looked very much like what we had seen in Alaska.

More rocks..

The pounding surf had worn away rock in many places creating blow holes where the waves crashed up.

More rocks..

Looking down on the road.  This is very typical of the roads we were driving on, all with speed limits of 100kmh which is 60 mph.  My dear husband insisted we keep up with the speed limit, causing white knuckles many days on my part!!  We made it unscathed though.

More pancake rocks!

Our next scenic stop along the way was a New Zealand Fur Seal colony.  One of the locals said they had a population explosion this year.  The fur seals were hunted almost to extinction decades ago but have returned to previous numbers they believe.

There was a great variety of colorings and facial expressions in these seals.

This was my favorite by far as he looked like he was smiling.  I think this may become my FB picture!!  He looked different from the other seals -- maybe a different kind?

This one had a very different face with the multiple colors.

This one was definitely relaxing!!

There were a lot of pups playing in the waves, diving and jumping up and down!!

There was more than one pup nursing on these rocks!

Another view of the roads we drove on.

And of course, no day would be complete without at least one new bird.  This is a Weka which is a rail.  It was not shy at all and I noticed this with other birds as well.  He walked right up to me and carried on digging in the dirt.

1 comment:

knutty knitter said...

Wekas are quite keen on shiny things. We had fun giving one pieces of shell to explore up in the Marlborough Sounds.

The pancake rocks at Punakaiki are one of my favourite places. BTW I think you are brave too - or slightly mad :) to travel full speed on those roads unless you are a local and everyone knows locals ARE mad :)