To Punakaiki

Beez Neez now Chy Whella
Big Bear and Pepe Millard
Thu 4 Sep 2014 22:47
To Punakaiki
Up this morning to see Lake Brunner with one line of haze floating.
IMG_8045  IMG_8046
Great excitement, our first touristy activity of the day was in New World, just to make a random change from Countdown. About as similar as Tesco is to Sainsbury’s. Bear said he would park Mabel with her bottom over the bushes as to make her nose stick out less – bet the plants really loved that little move................
Back over the Grey River.
We stopped at Point Elizabeth for a few photographs.
Just beyond Point Elizabeth was this little cracker.
IMG_8065  IMG_8067
From there the road rose steeply and the coast became a little more rugged.
IMG_8068  IMG_8069  IMG_8071
The road flattened off and as we began to go downhill there was a picnic area and a memorial. This one was dedicated to the nineteen miners who lost their lives in the Strongman Mine Disaster of 1967.
IMG_8072  IMG_8076
The Wicked Witch correctly warned of wiggly stuff ahead and I rather liked this rock shaped like an Ugg boot.
The very rocky coast gave me a chance to play in black and white.
A lone man strolling gave a nice point of focus.
Nearly at Punakaiki, we stopped at the Visitors Centre of the Paparoa National Park.
IMG_8107  IMG_8111
Once inside things looked similar and as thoroughly interesting as every information centre. This one had a major difference. In one corner was a memorial poster and Book of Remembrance set on a shelf below. We looked through the heart breaking pages with all the young faces looking up at us and read the last page.

The Cave Creek disaster occurred on the 28th of April 1995 when a scenic viewing platform in Paparoa National Park, collapsed, resulting in the deaths of fourteen young people. The victims, thirteen of whom were university students, fell one hundred and thirty feet onto rocks below, the fourteenth victim was a thirty one year old DOC officer, new to his job. The tragedy resulted in wide criticism of the government and its policies towards funding and management of the conservation estate. Denis Marshall, New Zealand's Minister of Conservation, eventually resigned, after the Commission of Inquiry's report came out. It also resulted in major changes to procedures used by the New Zealand Department of Conservation after it was revealed that serious systemic failures had led to the building of the unstable platform. Eventual changes in New Zealand Law, following a change of government, allowed for government departments to be held criminally liable for inadequate building practices, in the same way as non-government organisations.


So very sad and such a terrible tragedy for the victims families. In fairness to the DOC, we think they learned a very harsh lesson and put things to rights. We have only seen well maintained tracks and above standard safety warnings.

We saw the notice that said high tide was late afternoon, the best time to visit the Pancake Rocks, so off we went to find our beachside camp.




Down the hill, our camp was at the left of the picture.
The first road we got to was called Mabel Street, well of course we had to stop and of course our Mabel had to pose.
I used the lamp post on the corner of Mabel Street to show the angle of the rock virtually overhanging the main road.

Time for late lunch and a game of backgammon before we head back to see the Pancake Rocks. Punakaiki is a small community on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, between Westport and Greymouth. The community lies on the edge of the Paparoa National Park.





 A random sideways wave on the Tasman Sea, as we left the pancakes later.







                     STUNNING SCENERY AND ROCKS