It looks like today we have a small window of good weather and we head on to complete our 'must do' regardless. We drive the coastal road to the start of the national park track. This journey allowed us to stop at lovely coastal bay towns and we continued to randomly stop and explore finding delights such as 'split Apple rock' (see pics). Bags on, coats and lunch packed we embark on our true days walking.......1 1/2 hours later we are back at the van, we walked a fair way and saw some spectacular views but we risk assessed the situation and thought that heading for sunnier climes and not been soaked to the core was a better option. After lunch we headed towards the west coast following our trail. The west coast is apparently the most jaw dropping drive. On our way a lovely, friendly lady ( everyone here is) at the garage reaffirmed where we were going. We intended to bypass Westport and head to Punakiki. Driving east to west and 2 hours in, the blue sky's appeared and the road trip began...... Approx 4 pm we were at Bullers Gorge site of the biggest 'swing bridge' in NZ. Now I (Sarah) have started to develop an irrational fear of heights, age related I am sure, however this entertains Louise no end! Money is paid ( so no going back) and we head over the bridge to walk and explore an earthquake eruption fault line. We are also going to pan for gold. This whole area and west coast was built on the gold rush times... Firstly we make it across the bridge no problem, gold panning demonstration is given and then we head off into the sunset to get rich..... Now we don't care how much we could of made, being attacked by the sand flies was just too much to bear. Horrible things, we retrace our steps and leave covered in bites but a few flakes of gold richer!! The weather is now so glorious we just continue to drive and watch the coastline against the blue sky.........finally we reach a freedom camp in the town on Punakiki home of the famous rock blow holes. We will see these in the morning but tonight we will explore the watering hole opposite..,the Punakiki tavern.