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NZ Tour 2004

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NZ Tour

No rain today. Well, overcast with scattered showers, but that's good enough for me. Rode north, through Punakaiki (pancake rocks) then camped near the Westport turnoff (didn't go in). I love the West Coast, had a great day. Lots of scenery.


On Yer Bike! sign.On Yer Bike! sign.
West Coast beach. I like it.West Coast beach. I like it.
Looking inland along a creek.Looking inland along a creek.
Now that's the sort of place I want to live. Nice house surrounded by rainforest. Pity it's bloody miles from anywhere so it's not too practical for the cyclist types. There's also no broadband internet out this way. But it's still a nice house.Now that's the sort of place I want to live. Nice house surrounded by rainforest. Pity it's bloody miles from anywhere so it's not too practical for the cyclist types. There's also no broadband internet out this way. But it's still a nice house.
Croseus track entrance.Croseus track entrance.
Do *not* take your dog in here. Just don't.Do *not* take your dog in here. Just don't.
First sight of Punakaiki and the blowhole peninsular. Note the waves...First sight of Punakaiki and the blowhole peninsular. Note the waves...
Entrance to the peninsular. See the famous Punakaiki Blowholes and Pancake Rocks!Entrance to the peninsular. See the famous Punakaiki Blowholes and Pancake Rocks!
Ngai Tahu deed of settlement (from the DOC office)Ngai Tahu deed of settlement (from the DOC office)
Pancake Rocks at PunakaikiPancake Rocks at Punakaiki
Blowhole in action. Luckily I got there at about high tide, when it's most impressive. This was not due to any great feat of planning on my part, it just worked out that way.Blowhole in action. Luckily I got there at about high tide, when it's most impressive. This was not due to any great feat of planning on my part, it just worked out that way.
So, how does your camera like being doused in salt water?So, how does your camera like being doused in salt water?
The surge pool at Punakaiki with a wee blowhole in the backgroundThe surge pool at Punakaiki with a wee blowhole in the background
Warning signs on Bullock Creek Road, near Punakaiki.Warning signs on Bullock Creek Road, near Punakaiki.
Mmmm.... subtropical rainforest. So pretty...Mmmm.... subtropical rainforest. So pretty...
Base of a small rimu tree. Rimu (red pine)\nDacrydium cupressinum\nGrows to 20-60m tall, a forest canopy tree, found from sea level to 600m.Base of a small rimu tree. Rimu (red pine) Dacrydium cupressinum Grows to 20-60m tall, a forest canopy tree, found from sea level to 600m.
Matai with Rata growing on it. \nNorthern Rata\nmetrosideres robusta. Grows up to 25m tall, starts as an epiphyte and grows downwards eventually killing the host tree.\nMatai (black pine)\nPrumnopitys taxifolia (also called Podocarpus spicata) grows to 25m.Matai with Rata growing on it.
Northern Rata metrosideres robusta. Grows up to 25m tall, starts as an epiphyte and grows downwards eventually killing the host tree.
Matai (black pine) Prumnopitys taxifolia (also called Podocarpus spicata) grows to 25m.
A track through raupo swamp.A track through raupo swamp.
You know that scenery that's much more attractive in photos? Here's some more. The cold, windswept West Coast on an overcast day. Looks really nice. I rode fairly quickly up here but did spend a bit of time just sitting round looking at the view.You know that scenery that's much more attractive in photos? Here's some more. The cold, windswept West Coast on an overcast day. Looks really nice. I rode fairly quickly up here but did spend a bit of time just sitting round looking at the view.
Did I mention the coal mining? Well, here's a coal deposit on the side of the road. Low grade coal, but free...Did I mention the coal mining? Well, here's a coal deposit on the side of the road. Low grade coal, but free...
Hammocks are ideal for stealth camping. From the road 5m away this was pretty much invisible.Hammocks are ideal for stealth camping. From the road 5m away this was pretty much invisible.