Our first trial with driving a four wheel drive

Yesterday we first trialled our four wheel drive Jeep and went to Waipara
Gorge, a beautiful land formation about 60 kilometers north by northwest of Christchurch. The Jeep behaved well. We did some serious off road tracks, initially some gravel road driving and then we met a local paddock owner who showed us the way to the gorge. That drive was spectacular but deep through paddocks and field and some really rough terrain.
Waipara gorge is spectacular the river runs deep, surrounded by limestone hills and lush scenery. It’s a little difficult to find out. A long drive through state highway one, and then take left on to Innes Road after Amberley, go past the Ram Paddock road. The entrance to the gorge is through several closed paddocks and we were fortunate that we met one of the farm owners who allowed us entry through her paddock.

There are limestone caves, the water is rapid, and it’s a great place to be in. We could not go to the river bed, but people have been there. Perhaps we can do that in a later trip.

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Just returned from the amazing Pancake Rocks, amazing land formation

This Saturday, we went to see the amazing Pancake Rocks at the West Coast of New Zealand. The pancake rocks are in Punakaiki, which happens to be the Maori term form pancakes.

Rocks lifted from the sea bed due to oceanic activity, and accretion of marine organisms formed the Pancake rocks; this was quite a complex geologic process really, and happened about 35 million years ago, according to posters and displays at the site. The rock formation is unique; a poster at the site informed that the sea lashing at the rocks continue to carve holes in it and form natural sculptures.

A spectacular sight we missed were the blowholes. As the waves crash through the crevices and holes carved in the rocks, they spray up geysers of seawater hundreds of feet in the air. This phenomenon is best enjoyed on high tides in full moon days. We missed the blowhole geysers. The rock formations themselves are quite spectacular, as you may see from the photos.

Punakaiki is 300 kilometres north-west of Christchurch. It took us about 5 hours to get there; we stopped at the Arthur’s pass our favourite stopover. The journey is very scenic passing through hills, valleys, the lush green West Coast with waterfalls and part of the journey the Tasman bay by the highway. On our next journey to the rocks, we shall surely check the high tide times and plan to spend a night.

Can’t think of other places that are descriptions of food; New Zealanders do take their food seriously. 🙂

Just returned from the amazing Pancake Rocks, amazing land formation

This Saturday, we were in the amazing Pancake Rocks at the West Coast of New Zealand. Pancakes rocks were formed (partly rocks lifted from the sea bed due to oceanic activity, partly due to accretion of marine organisms, quite a complex geologic process really) millions of years ago. The rock formations are quite unique; the sea lashes at the rocks and as the waves crash through the crevices and holes carved in the rocks, they spray up geysers of seawaters hundreds of feet in the air. This spectacular phenomenon is best enjoyed on high tides in full moon days. We missed the blowhole geysers, but the rock formations were wonderful. 

Attached a few photos. Pancake rocks are about 300 kilometers to the northwest of Christchurch. It took us about 5 hours to get there; we stopped at the Arthur's pass our favourite stopover. The entire journey is quite spectacular. 

Can't think of other places that are descriptions of food; New Zealanders do take their food seriously. 🙂


















Mount Cook

This weekend we went to Mount Cook , mainly. Mainly because we stopped on the way at Lake Tekapo, then started on the following morning from the Lake Tekapo all the way to Lake Pukaki and onwards to Mount Cook. It was a day trip, one which we are going to repeat in future but with a difference.

This is the difference.

It may take a lifetime to explore Mount Cook area. We may never end up going anywhere. Mount Cook National Park is full of wonders, absolutely amazing place. We could go anywhere, we could do anything. Lakes, valleys, ridges, glaciers, mountains, passes, huts, more lakes, walks, endless. But more beautiful is the majesty of Aoraki that drowns your sorrow, your anguish, drowns your frustrations of life, gives you new meaning and vigour to go on. I certainly have felt that bliss. It’s an unspeakable mysterious feeling, and I cannot even express the beauty of the place. Some sensations are ineffable.

Thank you, Mount Cook, for showing me the way.