Cape Foulwind – Taking the Low Road

The last couple of times we’ve been up to Cape Foulwind we’ve done the DOC Cape Foulwind walkway but noticed another option down below so this time when we visited…….. well you know us, we just had to check it out.

views from cape foulwind walkway to bottom track and beach

The walk starts at the same car park but isn’t nicely signposted so not an obvious option for visitors.  There is a gate across what is essentially a 4WD access road.  It does have a little side gate for walker access though.

historic relics cape foulwind

After a short section cut through scrub and trees it opens out into a grassy flat on the rocky shore.  The cliffs of the walkway are towering above us.  This use to be a quarry so there are some artifacts left lying on the ground and slowly being swallowed up nature.

Occasionally there are parts of the old tram-line which is basically what this road was originally.

pounding surf off the rocks cape foulwind

pounding surf cape foulwind

It is wonderful to be down at sea level with the pounding surf coming in and bouncing off the numerous rocky outcrops.

seal enjoying the sunshine off the rocks cape foulwind

As we approach the first point there is an overwhelming smell that lets us know there are seals around.  Sure enough there is a big fella sunning himself quite close to where we are standing.  He isn’t bothered by us – looking up now and again but then deciding lazing in the sun is just too nice to worry about moving on.  We can see others further out and given the smell I’m sure there are plenty more around too.  I always say to our guests though, seals do great rock impersonations while lazing about so can be quite hard to spot.

Jan and Ziggy enjoying the views from Cape Foulwind

While Stephen takes a few (!!) photos, Ziggy and I just sit and enjoy our surroundings.

cape foulwind beaches

sandy beach cape foulwind

Onwards again as we wind around the Cape with the cliff  – jutting out just as it does above. There is a gorgeous white sandy beach calling our name to come visit so visit we do.  There is some negotiating over some marble like boulders to reach the beach – don’t want to make things too easy!

foaming surf cape foulwind

It is gorgeous down here and we could sit and watch the surf for hours but with the incoming tide we don’t hang around too long.  Time to head back the way we came.

sandy beach and rocky outcrops cape foulwind

Great to explore somewhere different – even if it is only a bottom track verses a top track.  The views are so different but every bit as spectacular and you get a real sense of belonging to nature when you are up close and personal.

For now though, we have a treat awaiting back at our accommodation – our lovely hosts Nicki and Even from The Lazy Seal Cottages treated us to a pound of white-bait so we’re off for a cook up…… yum, yum……. a nice reward after our new adventure.

Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road north of Greymouth.  They enjoy getting out and about and exploring as much of the West Coast as they can especially all the little nooks and crannies that can often be overlooked – the hidden gems.


About coastingnz

Jan and Stephen live on the Punakaiki coastline, north of Greymouth on the West Coast, NZ and run Breakers Boutique Accommodation. They both enjoy the outdoors and are passionate about things to see and do on the West Coast and would like to share their experiences with you.
This entry was posted in beaches, dogs, German Shorthaired Pointer, Nature, NZ history, outdoors, photography, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Cape Foulwind – Taking the Low Road

  1. The road less take, as Robert Frost would note. Always a good bet. -Curt


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