The wild west
I love the west coast. It has such a raw and untamed beauty, the waves are a little more ferocious and the vegetation is a little more overgrown. The pancake rocks are the crown jewel (well, so is Milford Sound, and the great coast road, and the glaciers, and well, let's just say there's a lot of jewels in this treasure trove). We found a cute cottage just a few miles down the road that ticked all the boxes. I rank the places we stay according to a complex mathematical equation that factors in the scenery, number of electric blankets and probability of walking barefoot and eating off their dishes. This place fared pretty well, the beach was even so close that we could hear the waves crashing as we fell asleep. It also earned extra credit for having 15 working television channels. But we didn't come here just to watch Peppa Pig, the scenery was the main attraction.
This is our second time here and I love seeing it in different lights and different moods. The blowhole didn't put its best foot forward, which was a disappointment after we talked it up so much to Jessica, but you can't argue that a day spent here is a day well spent. It sort of feels like we got teleported (Maddox's favorite word) to an ancient Aztec nation. That's what I love about New Zealand, there is such a vast variety of landscape all within a few hours drive.
Here's your second chance at Where's Waldo...I spy with my little eye Maddox and Jason
Jason took these guys to explore the Punakaiki cavern while I stayed with the little guys. I mean, afterall we had to get our Peppa Pig fix somehow.
And as a totally unrelated side note, yet completely related because we're talking about food, frozen french fries were on the menu for dinner one night but we were in a pinch because there was no oven. Jason decided to fry them on the stove in butter and let me just tell you. world officially changed. On a scale of broccoli to fried snickers, I would say this tends to fall closer to the latter, but that buttery crunchiness is worth every clogged artery. If we're going to die, we might as well die happy. Try it and thank me later.
Lonely planet ranked this stretch of road as one of the top 10 most scenic coastal drives in the world. It's not hard to see why.
Jason spontaneously pulled the car off the side of the road to check out a beach. I started to put up an argument about not wanting to get the kids all unbuckled and all bundled up but I took one look and immediately shut my mouth.
New Zealand has turned these kids into climbers, and I love it. I love seeing them test their limits and get nice and dirty. We grew up with a mountain in our back yard and my favorite childhood memories still live on those rocky ledges and in those hidden caves. Ryder has caught the climbing bug and thinks he can hold his own. They all managed to scale this rock, which was an impressive feat for a two year old.
So maybe we might need to set some limits when it comes to climbing, I was a little freaked out when I turned around and saw this.
Next we made our way through the Truman's track's lush vegetation to the beach which just so happened to be a little slice of sandstone heaven. Okay, this sentence is giving me a headache. Should it be Truman's track's or Truman's track or Truman track's? And I had to google how to spell happened, because doesn't happend just make more sense? But lush really is just such a fun word to say, it makes me want to squeeze something or eat something, I just can't decide.
Two noteworthy items of business here, there is a tree growing inside a tree and this door knob on the tree is most likely for a hobbit, but it reminded me of that scene in The Princess Bride which I then had to recreate for Jessica because she has never seen that movie. The shame.
Scenes from behind that waterfall. This place with all its caves and rocks had just the right balance of stunning peaceful beauty and childhood adventure. All topped off with a golden sunset. If this hasn't sold you on the west coast, nothing will.