Friday, May 22, 2015

Punakaiki Beach Camp, Paparoa National Park

This beach camp rocks, literally.  Limestone cliffs loom and the Tasman Sea (just a few hundred yards west) crashes in undulating rhythm. Nice audio for sleeping. In this pic, we're trying to decide on a campsite, angling the camper for maximum sun.

Saturday morning we took a walk just as the sun was breaching the cliffs. This small river runs to the sea.

Low tide is 7:30 am. A couple hours later, beware the intensely forceful waves creeping back toward the cliffs (and your shoes). Beachwalking is a morning activity here, and the light is magical.

We saw a total of two people on the beach.

I'm trying to select a rock for Wayne's courtyard collection, out of the approximately 23583 trillion available to me.

Could I interest you in something with a greenish tone?

When we arrived on the South Island I wondered how we'd figure out where to go and what to do from the wealth of options. Picking up the camper was our first real destination, and from there...well, we just asked. Everyone has favorite places and they all want to share them. In addition, everywhere we stop there are helpful and intensely local maps like this one, with suggestion for hikes and places to see. (Pancake Rocks tomorrow, because it deserves a post all its own.)

Paparoa National Park lies east of the road

Ibuprofen for batteries, barter extraordinaire
So this is our host Pete, who's actually cousin to the people who own the camp (they're in Tahiti with their five surfing children) and is tending it while they're away. He's doing a great job!

Art's got a knee that very occasionally causes him intense pain in back. It comes and goes...or perhaps the ten-mile hike exacerbated it. We went to see if Pete had any ibuprofen in his little camp shop and he said no, but he had some he didn't need anymore and offered them to Art. Pete went on to tell us about his tinnitus (relentless noise/ringing in the ear), showing us a hearing-aid like device he uses that sends ocean sounds to his brain to mask the annoyance.

We asked why he wasn't wearing it--no batteries, he said, but Art thought they looked just like his hearing aid batteries, went and got some, and hey now. That's a good barter.


  1. H2 always posts fantastic photos but the collection in this post is magic! -bahns