High Tide at Punakaiki

High tide at Punakaiki on the South Island’s West Coast was at 9:35 a.m. today — in case you were wondering. Knowing the tide timetable was important since we were told a high tide was needed to get the optimum effect at the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes located in the Papapoa National Park at Punakaiki.

With the high tide top of mind, we rolled out of bed in Murchison and began making the two-hour drive on Highway 6 to Punakaiki just as the sun was getting warmed up for another stellar day shining down on New Zealand.


We arrived at Punakaiki at 9:15 a.m. The surf certainly looked like it was up to me, but the locals told us it was a “calm” day.


Apparently, the blowholes really get going when a storm is rolling in. I can only imagine, as watching the mighty Pacific crash against the rocks was dazzling on a calm day.


My imagination took hold with this rock formation. I saw two giant Maori warrior heads — a la Easter Island — serving as sentinels. What do you see?


There wasn’t a bad view of the Pancake Rocks — which do favor a stack of over-done hot cakes — or the coastline.



We left the blowholes and rock stacks and headed down the coast for Hokitika, a little beach town that describes itself as a COOLLITTLETOWN It is — provided you like to walk/hike/bike.

We’re staying in a little cabin by the shore. I took a stroll on the beach shortly after we arrived. It was littered with driftwood and pebbles with a few seashells sprinkled in the mix.


I’m looking forward to watching the sun set.

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