Today’s blog post is brought to you by Mr Oil Rainbows, making a special guest appearance to sing the praises of Punakaiki.

After our rock hopping around Castle Hill, the missus and I got back in the rental car and made our way over Arthur’s Pass, straight for the West Coast.

The village of Punakaiki, such as it is, basically seems to exist to help separate the visitors of the Pancake Rocks from their wallets. Across the road from the Rocks is a stretch of buildings hosting cafés and souvenir shops. A little bit farther up the road is a pub, then a canoe hire place, and that’s it.

Off the main road there are plots of land that mostly seem to host holiday baches and homestays, and one of those plots was bought up several years ago by my friend, the poet and landscaper Trevor Hayes.

When we arrived, Trev had just completed the little hut beside his caravan. He had built the biggest thing he could without having to worry about complying with housing codes, just big enough to fit a little mattress and Trev’s writing desk and us, the first guests to spend the night in it.

With Trev as our guide, we were able to explore little spaces that would have remained hidden to us otherwise. He led us down a thick bush track to a secluded beach, where we watched the sunset from caves carved into the limestone by crashing waves.

I probably ought to just go ahead and say it was beautiful. That little beach might be my new favorite place in the world. But don’t take my word for it. Jenn had her new camera along for this one….


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