Pancakes at the Pancake Rocks!



I think from now on I will do the NZ posts on Saturday instead of Friday, I just don’t have the time and the energy after a week of work to do it. Sharing my experience in this country is important to me, so I feel more comfortable doing it that way, taking the time to do it properly.

After the Abel Tasman National Park, we took a bus to Punakaiki, best known as the Pancake Rocks (due to their funny shape FYI), in order to have some fresh pancakes! And pancakes we had, 16 dollars for a plate of two pancakes no less, but the fattest pancakes in the planet for sure…

We had booked a room at the YHA, which is apparently the second best hostel in town. The other one looks very fun from the outside and is located right in front of the beach. However, we chose the Te Nikeau Retreat because it was ‘in the middle of the rainforest”. It is a very different type of hostel, they have (our dreeeeeam if we win the lottery) a bungalow with a glass ceiling to see the stars as you fall asleep, and we loved it. We had a little bungalow that we shared with another 8 people I think. Their was a kitchen, bathroom and living room downstairs, an upstair living room and the dorm in sort of a mezzanine, with the mattresses on a half circle on the floor, to create sort of a sleepover party! We met a crazy English guy, we had already ran into him in the Old Macdonald’s farm a couple days before and had a fun night of board games and scrabble. He told us the craziest stories of the lamas of the old Macdonald being Shamels and miniature poneys for blind people.

They were having some road work in Punakaiki the day we arrived and apparently they had cut open a pipe by mistake, so the entire hostel was out of running water… No showers but thank god, the toilets were working! I woke up in the middle of the night with a strange feeling, something weird on my ankle, it starting itching, then burning and aching, then my head starting going nuts, I started to sweat and when I woke up the next morning I had sort of an egg that had grown on my ankle. Of course, the nearest doctor was out of walking distance. I did not want us to get away from our schedule, so I chose to leave to Franz Josef Glacier as planned with my fucked up foot, hoping I’d find a doctor there…


But back to the story: Punakaiki! There is nothing more than the rocks in this place, and they are worth seeing I’d say. We took a stroll back to the hostel, which was a few kilometers from the rocks, and we found a huge cave on the way. We got in as far as we could even though we had no lights, it’s only as we were walking out of it that we noticed the sign telling us of all the disgusting gigantic insects hanging on the ceiling…

Someone in the Abel Tasman had advised us to take the Truman track, a little track that takes you to a beach with an amazing rock, where we watched one of the most beautiful sunset I have got to see in NZ.

I’d say Punakaiki is a nice stop on the way to the Glaciers if you are coming from Picton for instance but I wouldn’t spend more than a day really. Check it by yourself:

























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