The weather report for today was not that good, so Stevie and I decided to venture down to the west coast to see Pancake rock. A tourist attraction that my sister had told me about the night before.
On the way there down highway 6 we came across New Zealand's longest swing bridge. The prices were abit expensive so I decided to haggle on the price. Stevie rolled her eyes because I was at it again. I manged to get the bridge crossing, a walk around the heritage park and the comet line back for a discounted price. There was one catch though for our discounted price. Stevie and I had to waltz in front of everyone for a minute. It was a done deal. The bridge was circa 160m long. A thin bridge that stood above the Buller river, it was a geat feeling being on this flimsy bridge over a vicious river especially when we had nervous people coming the other way who were scared.
On the other side was the Heritage park, We did the 15 minute loop, We saw the famous White's Creek faultline, which was the epicentre of the 1929 Murchison earthquake and where the ground instantaneously rose more than 4.5 metres (nearly 15 feet). Its hard to image it happening that quickly.
Instead of crossing the Swingbridge back we decided to take the comet line Tandem. A 160m zip line over the Buller river back to the car. It was fun to cross the gorge this way.
We continued our journey pleased with our little road side find. On the way to Pancake rock, we saw a sign for the west coast highlighting that there was a seal colony just done the road. It was only a 10 minute drive so we decided to speed there to see what was going on. It had a great viewing platform but not many seals, it was not that impressive especially after seeing the seals at Kiakoria. We headed back to the main road, as we passed through Charleston we randomly came across a company that offered glow worm caving. Next door was a Motel. With a couple of days remaining of our weekend we booked the craving for the next day and checked in to the neighbouring motel so we didnt have to go far in the morning to get to the caving operator.
With all that booked we headed to Pancake rock, which is located between Westport and Greymouth on Highway 6.
The drive down the west coast was beautiful, the rain had really brought out the green the the bush that it gave the whole area a tropical feel, Stevie was annoyed that I wanted to stop at every corner to take photos.
We finally arrived a Pancake rock, The rocks are a heavily eroded limestone, they 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 'pancake'-layering effect. In high tide sea burst through blow holes creating a magnificent sight.
The walk around the rocks took us around 20 minutes.
We needed petrol so decided to head to Westport to feel up, it was 40k away. With nothing in Charleston we hand Fish n Chips there before heading back to our motel to rest before our big day tomorrow.