Posted by & filed under Travel Country: New Zealand.


At 6.30am my alarm went off and I got up reluctantly and packed the rest of my stuff. I walked down to the bus terminal and it was with sadness that I left Nelson. It was a great few days, especially with the whole experience of the Abel Tasman Walk. I was heading to Punakaiki and the Pancake Rocks.

About two months ago, I had prebooked my accommodation at the Punakaiki Beach Hostel with my credit card. I originally planned to stay at Punakaiki for three nights but now, with staying an extra day in Nelson to do the Abel Tasman Walk, I left it too late to cancel one night in Punakaiki, so I had to pay double for one night’s accommodation. That’s the thing about prebooking accommodation when you’re traveling – giving your credit card details means you’re tied to dates. The cancellation policies of most BBH hostels ask you to give them three day’s cancellation notice, if you change your plans, which is fair enough I guess. I just left it too late to cancel.

It was raining on the way from Nelson to Punakaiki, so we didn’t have very good views of the coast road. This part of the West Coast is heavily forested and a lot of the stage coaches used to pass through this area before the road was built. Punakaiki is a remote little village on the West Coast. I wanted to do that journey down the West Coast because I’d heard that the scenery was stunning along there, if you’re lucky enough to get good weather. I say lucky enough because the West Coast of the South Island gets the most rain than anywhere else in the South Island.

The hostel was a good one, especially because of its location, right beside the beach and only ten minutes walk from the centre of the village. Today the weather was bad and the sea was rough. But I like it like this because you see and hear the waves crashing on the beach. The main thing that people come to Punakaiki for, is to see the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. They are metre high rocks on the beach which were formed millions of years ago and because of the formation of thin layers of rock on top of each other, they resemble pancakes, hence the name the Pancake Rocks.