MurchisonFebruary 11 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C
The gorge at Hokitika was reached after a short journey from our campsite inland toward the mountains. Unfortunately we could not see the main standing stones in the gorge as some of the track was shut off for maintenance. The water was however very turquoise and milky with the dust and minerals from the mountains. The water is predominantly melt water from the glacier and was very cold -two hardy chaps plunged in while we were there but they did not stay in long. Karen dipped her toe in which was enough.
After that we travelled to Punakaiki along the scenic Greytown to Westport Road. The road hugs the shoreline for much of the way squeezed between the mountains on one side and the sea. The beaches did not look too inviting with grey shingle, they are more popular to surfers.
The shoreline at Punakaiki is renowned for its particular rock formations - the Pancake Rocks. We took a short walk to see them which was worthwhile, and were entranced by a pod of about 30 dolphins who were feeding and playing in the sea immediately behind the formations and within the adjacent bay. We had not seen a dolphin surfing a wave until today - it appeared to be having great fun.
We arrived late afternoon at Murchison, a farming community in the hills. The site we are at is next to the river, and after a bbq dinner in the camp kitchen we plunged into the river swim hole to cool off as the afternoon temperatures were very hot. The water was lovely - refreshing but not too cold, and so clear. What a fabulous spot for a campsite, and excellent facilities. The reviews on Tripadviser were spot on - a real gem of a site!!!Read more