Time Warp to Punakaiki

New Zealand is in a time warp, with good reason.

In the US, we usually assume travel time at “a mile a minute.” In NZ, the roads are narrower, curvier, steeper, and marked in kilometers. My advice: stay left, enjoy the ride, and mentally assume “a mile a kilometer.” Happier, safer, less stressful–especially if you are a native left side of the car, right side of the road driver. Just join the time warp and enjoy the journey.

Dan drives. I take photos. In the car. Moving. I only demand a stop when there is a yellow warning sign with an animal silhouette–then it is a demand. Stop! He’ll even do a U-turn for me on the animal signs. That’s love.


We didn’t see penguins on this trip. We will…some day. And I added a sign to my collection, which includes cows, horses, deer,  seals, and others.


We spent the day wandering with Lynnette and Kimberly. As we arrived at Punakaiki, we heard the booming and felt the ground shake from the waves that crash and reverberate among the pancake rocks.

It’s a popular place to visit, especially at high tide. Always check the tides. The water shoots up through blow holes in the pancake rocks. You can even stop to eat pancakes nearby.


The people shadows are where everyone is watching and listening to the waves come crashing into the crevices.


The two photos just above and the one below here are 3 different views of the same crevice.


Does anyone recognize this little guy (below)? We thing he (she?) is a type of shag but that is a shot in the dark in bird-ville. We know it’s not a finch, woodpecker, or hummingbird (common birds in Tennessee)!


On to Cape Foulwind. What a name! And what a bunch of seals…the rocks are covered with a city of huge ground-slugs. Okay, that was not a fair name to call the fur seals but you get the idea. Some are nursing the young, others screaming to each other, many snoozing in the sun. Just below (if you look closely) is a nursing baby.


Up the hill from the seals is a directional sign with distances to different cities, just to give you some perspective. Paris is the furthest city away that was shown on the sign. image


One more day trip, one more sunny gorgeous West Coast winter day. 



6 thoughts on “Time Warp to Punakaiki

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