Now We’re Heading To Lake Brunner
I’m not sure what day of the week it is, but now we’re heading to Lake Brunner for a couple of nights. We’re expecting a less hectic time than Westport and I have to admit, I’m looking forward to the chance of doing some reading.
Because the high tide is not until 4.28pm we are in no hurry as we want to time our arrival at Punakaiki and the Pancake Rocks – a little south of Westport – as close to high tide as we can.
Looking for something to do between Westport and Punakaiki we chose an establishment in Charleston, Underworld Adventures which runs – among more adventurous pursuits – a train ride into the bush alongside the Nile River. That sounded interesting and at $20 for seniors, a reasonable cost for what turned out to be almost an hour and half venture. Massive limestone cliffs lined parts of the river and the thick bush looked in most part to be almost impenetrable. After arriving at the “terminal” we wandered up a track to a swing bridge and watched a group of tubers returning from a black water adventure.
During this trip hubby decided it was time to christen his newly acquired gold pan. Actually, his little foray was working out quite nicely thank you, until the mass of sandflies finally got to him. Certainly they appeared impervious to the insect repellent we’d used. After scooping out two pans in less than five minutes, we acquired a couple of shiny yellow elements, whether they are indeed gold is anybody’s guess. Perhaps we should look at retirement on the West Coast so he could pursue his new thirst for yellow fever.
Punakaiki and the Pancake Rocks
We arrived a Punakaiki earlier than high tide, but I doubt this mattered. The sea was very calm and I think the likelihood of us seeing great gushing spouts of water through the blowholes was unlikely, even at full tide. We did enjoy wandering around the walkway – very well designed and kept, and over half the way suitable for wheelchair access. While there we saw terns nesting on the outcrops, a multitude of shags, dolphins nearby and a lone seal sunning himself on a rock. The rock formations are nothing like I’ve seen elsewhere in the world, although I’m sure there are similar “pancake” rocks around.
We arrived in Lake Brunner just after four, booking into the Longhouse, the name had intrigued us while we were planning the trip and it has lived up to expectations with a lovely hostess. We considered staying an extra night here, but then knew we still had a lot of the West Coast to see yet.