After a wonderful rainy night at the Old Slaughterhouse, we caught a ride to Westport. Our intent was to hitch down to Punakaiki to see the Pancake Rocks. However, it was raining and we lost motivation for that in a hurry. We rented a car instead and took off for the Cape Foulwind seal colony. It is the best seal colony I've ever been too because there were so many pups and they were active. I have never seen seals move so much. Absolutely amazing!
First, let's play count the seals again.
Seal colony video
Photos would not do the seals justice so I was trying to get a couple videos of them moving around. After my first couple, I remembered that my video camera had a bunch of extra features that might make for better footage. There was a video stabilizer, filming in HD, and digital zoom. The digital zoom made things a little grainy, but it was great to be able to zoom in so much. The best version of the footage is below.
Seal Colony video zoom
Penguin crossing sign.
After being entertained by the seals, we headed off for the Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki. It was a long, wet drive. When we stopped to eat, our server didn't think we could finish two grilled cheeses and two baskets of fries. He was very wrong. We housed. I think we were still super hungry from walking the Heaphy. Anyway, after refueling our bellies, we got super lucky and the sun came out.
The pancake rocks were neat. They are layer after layer of rock. When you zoom in close enough, you can easily imagine Vermont's finest being poured over them before you throw them in your belly. The problem with that is that you pretty much can't buy maple syrup in New Zealand. Also, most Kiwis don't know what pancakes are!!! I'm kind of confused how one of their tourist attractions is called Pancake Rocks then, but it is. Maybe an American was involved.
More Pancake Rocks.
Use your imagination, what do you see (hint, nose on the left)?
Other than just being neatly layered, the pancake rocks have eroded to create a spectacular coast line. There are huge arches, blowholes that shoot a ton of water up into the air at high tide, gnarly rock formations, and formations that your imagination might find animals or faces in. I'm not sure I'd recommend that someone make a special trip to see the rocks, but they are definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.