Our stay at the Birdsong Backpackers in Hokitika was very pleasant. It's run by a lovely English couple who have made it homely and artistic. We were made to feel at home and the view of the waves on the wild west coast was fantastic. In the morning, we went to town to have a look at some pounamu jewellery but it was way above my budget, so I didn't buy anything. I wanted a fern leaf motif pendant or earrings but it was not meant to be...
We headed up north in the pouring rain and ferocious winds. Our destination - the pancake rocks or Punakaiki. These rocks are layers of sediments and occur only on a small part of the coast - nobody really knows why they formed but they are really interesting and the vegetation in the park is beautiful. They have landscaped the park with native vegetation such as Cabbage trees, Nikau palms and other such plants which are unique to the west coast of New Zealand. Unfortunately, due to the deteriorating weather, we couldn't stay there for long as we were being battered by the howling wind and hard rain.
We decided to head to Westport as it has a large choice of accommodation and some shops where we could stock up on supplies. We found the Westport YHA had a nice fireplace (it's become a major deciding factor in choosing a place for the night) where we could curl up with a good book and forget about the cold, grey, wet and windy conditions outside.
I needed some retail therapy so went out to the High Street to look at some shops. Found a lovely gallery cafe where I got some postcards and a retail chain called Posties which had really cheap Merino wool tops - yay, some additional warmth against the icy cold. Spent the evening watching DVDs and went to bed early - felt tired and needed to get some rest.