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You Just Can't Do Everything!

Saturday 31st October 2015

semi-overcast 16 °C

Our intention was to do much the same as we had done yesterday, but having ascertained exactly when high tide was, we aimed to get to the blowholes for around 2:30pm so that we could see them at their most active. On that basis there was no need for us to rush out, but equally we wanted to have some of the morning to explore. We had breakfast and did a few things in the cottage before driving the short distance to what is known as the Truman Track. There is a small parking area near the start of the track and next to this there is a dark peaty looking pool. We crossed the road and walked for a while through some typical New Zealand rain forest.

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A number of the plants were labelled which gave an added interest to the walk. After about a kilometre the path opened out and after a short distance we were at the sea. There were lovely views in both directions with some steps that went down onto the beach.

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From there we could get an even better view of the waves crashing over the rocks. The tide was starting to come in and so we didn't really have time to walk on the sand, but from where the steps were we could see a small waterfall flowing onto the beach.

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We then retraced our steps and walked back up the track to our car. Nigel then drove a short distance in the direction of Punakaiki to the car park at the start of the Pororari River track. We walked about a third of the track to a point where we had a lovely view of the river. The scenery was beautiful with a sheer cliff edge with a more gently sloping bank covered in vegetation and fallen rocks.

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There were a number of places where trees were bent over the path, or rocks partly obstructing the track causing us to duck. We did think about going further but were aware of the time and the fact that we wanted to be catch the high tide. Whilst we were standing there enjoying the view, two kayakers came past and seeing how gentle and shallow the river was I was a little envious and wished that we had chosen to do the same.

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On the way back to the car we met a number of other walkers who looked like they were intending to do the full three hour loop. It was getting towards 2:20pm and high tide and so instead we went to have another (our third) look at the blowholes. The tide was at its highest and some of the waves were crashing onto the rocks in a quite spectacular fashion.

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Although there was water spouting out of the blowholes we agreed that it wasn't quite as spectacular as the day before. We were feeling quite hungry by this stage so we stopped at one of the cafe's on the main road near the blowholes for a bite to eat before venturing back a short distance to look at a cave that was reputed to have some glow worms. We had brought a torch as suggested, but once inside it looked like a bit a scramble through a fairly narrow passage to get into the cave proper. Although we could see torchlight shining from under the rocks, so we knew someone else had been able to get through, we decided not to venture any further.

Instead we went back past our accommodation and made use of our 4WD vehicle and drove about a kilometre or so up a gravel track alongside the Punakaiki River. We parked up and then crossed over a swing (small suspension) bridge.

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Again we walked a short distance before turning back as by this stage Nigel's hip was playing up and I was also getting pretty tired. In some ways I regretted that we hadn't continued on the Pororari River track we were on in the morning as both footpaths linked up, and we had probably walked the same distance. However had we done this we wouldn't have had time to go along the Truman Track. This is all part of the compromising you do when you are somewhere for a limited time. Once we had walked back to the car, we drove the short distance back to the cottage and after relaxing for a while we had another home cooked meal and then a fairly early night in readiness for an early start.

Posted by Gill's Travels 20:59 Archived in New Zealand Tagged landscapes sea rivers new_zealand punakaiki

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