Here at Breakers we’re a bit spoilt being beachfront and having our own track to the beach. In saying that, it also makes us lazy and they say variety is the spice of life so we took a drive and headed out to explore a different beach for a change.
With rain forecast and the skies looking threatening to the south we felt a drive north was the way to go. The drive between Breakers and Punakaiki follows the coastline – a continual stretch of beach, we just had to choose where to stop. Unfortunately our timing sucked and spots of rain started to hit the windscreen. Onwards we drove until just before Punakaiki and McMillans Road that leads to a lovely sandy beach on the south side of Punakaiki. Not wanting to jinx things, we put on our rain jackets just in case. What’s that saying “if you don’t have your jacket it will rain, if you take it, chances are it won’t” – we were working on that theory anyway and playing it safe.
The boys were keen as mustard to get out for a run – especially with it being more of a sandy beach rather than the predominately stoney beach of home. There was a warning sign though for vehicles “Do not drive onto the soft sand” with a little hand written note “you will be sorry, it will be costly” – or something to that effect. They were right too – it was really soft sand – a good work out just to walk along.
We headed towards the cliffs to the north of the beach throwing stones for the boys to chase and help exercise them. They loved it barking and sprinting from us, down the beach and back again.
Our timing may have sucked earlier but stopping here we had it just perfect. The skies cleared a little and the sun came out. This is a beach of contrasts and in behind the looming cliffs is a little track that takes you round the back and into, well almost a basin if you like. Punakaiki is Pancake Rock territory and these rock formations are just like the famous pancake rocks further along the road. Here though, no crowds, no people at all, pretty much only known by locals. It looks like some people may have been here recently with the remnants of a camp fire in the sand. It’s a good spot, nice and sheltered and full of atmosphere with the sound of the crashing waves on the other side of the cliffs.
The boys enjoyed exploring in every corner. The rock formations in here are amazing – hard to believe in some respects that the might of the Tasman Sea is just on the other side. Thankfully not here at high tide as I think we’d know for sure then – the sound of the crashing waves would be wicked!
Back out to the sunshine and the boys are off chasing each other and the surf. Have to be careful with here as there is quite a good shore dump. As much as we like visiting Australia, don’t think they need to go there…..
We find a little seal basking in the sunshine. Our boys are good and while they take a look, one word and they side step around him. The little fella puts his head up though just to check us all out. Seals are so cute but you do have to be careful with them – they can be quite vicious and we don’t want to disturb his peace anyway.
Time to make our way back to the car and head for home. It has been nice to explore a different beach for a change and the weather was most kind to us. Think we ended up with the pick of the weather and it was nice to get out and enjoy it.
Jan and Stephen run Breakers a boutique bed & breakfast on the Punakaiki coastline just north of Greymouth. They love to get out and explore and enjoy sharing their adventures with their guests. Check out other blog postings, their Facebook page or website for suggestions on things to see and do while visiting the West Coast.