March 4, 2002
TRUMAN TRACK: is a 20 minute walk through dense rainforest with cicadas and bellbirds calling from the canopy above. Some of the trees are IMMENSE making you feel as if you have stepped back into a primordial forest which opens up to a dense flax ( which looks like odd 6 ft. tall cornstalks!) before reaching the cliffs by the beach. The effects of waves can be seen in the dugout overhanging cliff walls that wrap around the beach. The waves were crashing in mighty force on the day we visited. There's signs for penguins, but we didn't see any since they go out to sea to eat in the morning and return closer to sunset. Yet, We weren't disappointed because of the spectacular cliffs and haystack rocks reaching out in the water among violent waves. I don't think anyone could swim safely here, but what a view!
PANCAKE ROCKS: This is a 20 minute circle walk on a blacktop trail among wild flax plants reaching to the cliffs. Occasional "peaks" through dense vegetation of haystacks that are several stories tall wet your photographic appetites while the sound of pounding surf surrounds you. You'll wind your way through one spectacular expanse of pancakes ( limestone stacks that look like pancakes on a plate) after another before reaching the blow holes. My pictures can not show the depth and largess of this area! It must be two stories deep to the crashing water and about 3 city blocks long! Past here....there are carved out limestone bays where waves crash and thunder in an effort to destroy the land. You can feel the force in your body as you walk along the path....a weird reverberation through the spine that starts at your feet!
Before you leave, cross the street to the craft shop, the tourist information center ( for maps and other wonders), and the Wild Coast Cafe.
The craft shop had many nice items including furry possum insoles for your hiking boots ($28nz), handblown glass beauties, richly woven wool hats and sweaters in amazing colors, and beautiful jewelry made locally.
We dove into the handpacked rich icecream at the Wild Coast Cafe! Try the Hokey-pokey (butter brittle) or the Jelly-tip ( soft berry jellies in a vanilla base.) a double cone is $2.50nz. The Cafe serves a mean breakfast for $5.50-9.50nz and lunches are $4.50-13.50. Many items look like they are freshly baked. There's a bar for beer and wine if you fancy that too.
From journal Natural Extremes At The Bottom Of The World