Punakaiki (Pancake Rocks), New Zealand

Three hours north of Fox Glacier is Punakaiki, otherwise known as Pancake Rocks. It’s a gorgeous drive up the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island from the glaciers to Punakaiki.

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We arrived at The Rocks Homestay, a beautiful home with incredible views. The Swiss owners (Roli, Eva, & their baby) have 3 bedrooms in this home that they share with guests.

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Since we had plenty of daylight left, Drew and I decided to go kayaking first. The water level was really low – sometimes we had to get out and drag our kayaks across rocks. I’m sure winter is a different story here. The neat thing is that it was really easy to spot schools of fish swimming by.

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Oooooh…that looks a puma’s head staring him down. Drew – totally unphased by it.
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Later that evening, we went out to see the Pancake Rocks where the ocean waves and blowholes have eroded these limestone rocks to form an incredible sight.

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On the way out, we saw a couple of wekas, one of New Zealand’s flightless birds. Did you know NZ has the largest number of flightless bird species than any other nation? That’s because there’s no large land predators. So why bother flying when nothing’s going to come eat you? An Aussie we met told us they got stuck with all the deadly creatures (crocs, snakes, venomous spiders) while New Zealand got stuck with sand flies. I don’t know which is worse because by day 7 of scratching my sandfly bites, I’m sure I said “Kill me now!” a few times.

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