West Coast Detours

📍Marahau to Hokitika📍

A shower, a beer and a massive burger was just what we needed after the trek and these were found in the little beach town of Marahau. Again, we were fortunate to have a family member help us out with accommodation which meant we left for our next destination with well recovered bodies.

The sun was no longer shining and the rain was falling, but it didn’t really matter as we had a full day of driving ahead of us to Hokitika, with only one planned stop; the Pancake Rocks. Of course, a road trip isn’t a road trip without unexpected detours and today was another one of those days. First stop was at Murchison Tea Rooms where I got to taste my first New Zealand pie. I had heard so much about how great the pies are in New Zealand that I was excited to try one. I opted for a mince pie and I have to admit, it was very tasty! On a full belly we drove on through Buller Gorge and along the Great Coast Road, until we spotted a sign in Cape Foulwind which pointed to a seal colony.


Taking another detour we soon found ourselves looking out to sea at lots of seals and their cubs swimming and bathing on the rocks. Back in the car we headed for Pancake Rocks again, but spotted another sign. This time directing us to a historical gold mine. We followed the track the carts would have taken through part of the mine tunnels and saw some of the machinery and tools that would have been used. Another successful detour.

We finally made it to Punakaiki to view the Pancake Rocks. The Pancake Rocks is eroded limestone which look like layers of Pancakes. The wonders of nature.


We arrived in Hokitika a bit later than planned but it was worth it. We checked into our hostel, Mountain Jade Backpackers, which was located in the town and was a nice hostel for a nights stop over. About a 10 minute drive from our hostel was a glow worm dell. I had read in my pre-travel research about the glow worms on the West Coast and was eager to see them but didn’t really know what to expect. Well I was very pleasantly surprised! Walking into the woods at 10pm with only a small torch to guide our way, we walked for less than 10 minutes and were surrounded by hundreds of tiny little lights created by bioluminescence larvae. An amazing experience to end a great day.