Mar 27-28th Greymouth and Punakaiki, South Island NZ

Another two days of interesting driving under our belt On Monday, we drove from Fox Glacier to Greymouth, lots of up hill, down dale, along cliff sides and beside the Tasman Sea. We had an interesting two hour stop at Shantytown, a recreation of a historic mining and lumber town from the mid 1800s to the early 1900s. We rode a historic steam train. The engineer had to do 500 hours training on the train before she was qualified to drive it by herself. She said it took her another 2 years to be totally comfortable driving the train. She is both the driver and coal stoker – there would not be enough room in the cab for two people. We visited the sawmill, the sluicing equipment, the foundry, and many other businesses of the day. Our camp site was right by the Tasman Sea, we could hear the breakers all day and night.

It rained most of that night with winds the shook the van but stopped by the time we were on the road again. Yesterday, thanks to a recommendation from our NZ friend, we drove to Punakaiki, another campsite right on the Tasman Sea. The absolute highlight yesterday was seeing the Pancake Rocks & Blowholes which was an easy 1km walk from our campsite. The rock formations are thin layers whuch look ever so much like a stack of pancakes. It’s interesting that scientists are unsure how they formed millions of years ago. Of course, they are now in errosion from the sea which created the incredible formations and blowholes which must be seen at high tide or close to it. Our timing was good, high tide yesterday was at 4:30pm. We arrived at the campsite several hours before that.

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