Friday, September 6, 2019

Paparoa National Park and Pancake Rocks

This region of NZ is lush with native flora. Faithful readers will recall we've stayed at this seaside campground before.

Paparoa National Park is a dense coastal forest with towering granite and limestone features. It teeters on an eye-popping coast, home to the Pancake Rocks. This morning we walked a piece of it along a gentle stream, inhaling its green scent.

This is one of my favorite walks in NZ, which today was cut short because the DOC was working on portions of the path, which connect to NZ's newest Great Walk, the Paparoa Track and Pike29 Memorial Track. Click here for more. It opens Dec 1, 2019.

Layers of growth on a single tree trunk.

There's a riot of green drama amid the cliffs.

Next we walked from our campground up to the Pancake Rocks, a marvelous panorama on the ocean side of the single road that runs north and south.

The extraordinary breakers on this coast are mesmerizing. Here's a quick vid (click here to view if reading in email).

Now we break for perhaps my favorite picture of the day. This man was wearing a grammatically challenging coat that I felt compelled to photograph. He was making a careful picture of his girlfriend as I kind of sneaked up behind him and waved a little to her and pointed to his jacket and she laughed and he got a good picture. I think I like the underlying message here.

Looking life in the face
why don't you trying be for sincere

OK, back to the vistas. (If you're keen to read more about these places click here for previous posts of ours and apologies if I've repeated myself.)

This walkway is so beautifully and extensively executed, with places to peer over and hear the great lashings of waves bang against rock, at key tidal times blowing up through blowholes.

Whew. Time for a coffee at the Pancake Rocks Cafe. NZ's cafe culture is refreshing and relaxing.

At the barista's counter, I check the local paper. A 632 pound northern bluefin tuna caught off this wild coast just north of here.

It's warm in the sun--mid-60s F.

The friendly guys sitting next to us were enjoying their pizza when along came a weka, another of NZ's flightless birds and this one quite accustomed to eating treats at the cafe, apparently. We've encountered weka at campgrounds too. They're smart and compelling (and no you should never feed wildlife human food).

Coincidentally, I'd just read a good piece in the NYT on the weka and its role in dispersing seeds from one region to another, something that's compromised by situations like this. Click here to read it and see a closer image of a weka.

Book exchange in a painted fridge

We've decided to leave this glorious spot behind so we can move on to places beloved...and new.

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