Monday, March 14, 2011

Pancake Rocks - Punakaiki, West Coast

After we left Cape Foulwind, we travelled down the coast to the Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki.  I've been wanting see these for a long time, but was surprised that I just couldn't go down on the beach and see them.  Instead there's a 20 minute walk around and through them that was very, in want of a word, upmarket.

The rocks were formed 30 million years ago from minute fragments of dead marine creatures and plants landed on the seabed about 2 km below the surface. Immense water pressure caused the fragments to solidify in hard and soft layers. Gradually seismic action lifted the limestone above the seabed. Mildly acidic rain, wind and seawater sculpted the bizarre shapes.

We carried these two bottles of liquers, by prenzel, around the rocks taking photos of them in various locations, along with our 'normal' photos. It was all for the Prenzel summer photo competition, which I have now entered. It did 'raise eyebrows', cause a few 'funny comments' and we had offers from several people to help us drink it! I didn't put this one into the competition - will put the one I did enter up at the end.

The rocks and the view down the coast. Quite spectacular, and we happened to be there close to sunset which made the colours very pretty. Unfortunately, a rain front was coming across so the sunset wasn't as vivid as we had hoped it would be.

The pancakes a bit closer up.

The blow hole is also famous in this area, although it wasn't going very strong for us. I could just hear it rumbling and then it would spit up this bit of water every now and then. This is the only photo I was able to get. something to do with the tide I believe, which was out quite a way and only just in the way in.

This is the only sunset shot I really got. I had to handhold that but I did use the banisters of the safety fences to keep it steady. The tripod was in the car, but my foot was too sore to go and get it. Plus, I was already carrying two bottles of spirits and wasn't sure I'd be able to handle the tripod as well.

Here's looking down the coast again. I couldn't tear my eyes away...

Sunset rock...

As the path went around you come to these steps carved out in the rock.  They're steep and narrow, and rather beautiful.  But before you came to them, there are signs everywhere saying no wheelchair access.  Big yellow signs with a wheelchair shape with a big red cross.   What I find funny about this is that it's really obvious that a wheelchair can't fit down there.  People in wheelchairs do have brains and common sense I'm sure! So do we really need them?

Can you see the cat crouching on that rock? (hint - it's a rock shaped in the shape of a cat). Can your imagination pick out anything else?

Looking north up the coast. Sunset. I need to spend some more time in this area. It seems to have a lot to offer, including rivers, secret spots, horse treks, canoeing. Looks like I'll have to go back!

And this is the entry to the competition I put in, which I called 'Syrup with Pancakes...

Wish me luck! I want to win the $3000 in travel so I can visit my Anne in Amsterdam! And perhaps go to Iceland!


wiewiórka said...

Good luck, Robyn! :)

Those pancakes roks are very interesting and look beautiful in the sun. The play of light and shadows on them are amazing.

Wilithin from deviantArt :)

Morgan said...

My imagination sees an alien with probe at the ready.... Don't know where you get a "cat" from. It's CLEARLY extraterrestrial!

There is a real problem with that path. It doesn't have signs for people with mobility scooters so there are going to be scooter accidents. They need the lady from the Auckland Zoo who controls scooter hire to police the area and remind scooter users of their low IQs. While she is at it she can have signs made up too warning blind people of the danger also....

Good luck!

Robyn said...

So did yo see the monster waving?