Punakaiki 27-30 May 2021

The weather forecast wasn’t looking too bad for the coast. At Arthurs Pass we we stopped for the mandatory, renowned  date scones. A stop at Lake Brunner and wander across the swing bridge didn’t deliver much fungi but it is a beautiful spot.

Our cottages and lodges at the Te Nikau Retreat were dotted around the lush Punakaiki bush just north of the Truman Track. A path wound down through the accommodation to the beach, spectacular at sunset when the weather cooperates (it didn’t, but it was well worth the visit anyway).

On Friday everyone chose different destinations. Some went on foot down to the local beach, some went inland to Cave Creek and others checked out more of the coastline. There are so many spectacular spots along this coast, and Punakaiki makes a great base. The day finished with a fantastic pot luck supper where everyone cooked enough for a gathering of twice the size….it was delicious (and a shout-out to the amazing dish-washing crew too).

On Saturday it was rinse and repeat, with crews going this way and that and often catching up with each other along the way. The weather held for most of the day but the light faded early so it was time to get scrubbed up for dinner (pre-ordered) at the Pancake Rocks Café. We sat at tables of 6, dinner arrived before expected it and it was a great, and very social night. Of course, by this time, we had all been on NZTA and knew that the only way home was going to take a lot longer than our trip over. We crossed fingers that only Porters would be closed and not the Lewis too.

The return trip saw us ‘hot desking’ in Reefton for cheese scones and later in Culverden for more. Quite the social, but nobody was keen to brave the rain for more pics.

Huge thanks to Jane for doing such a wonderful job of organising the weekend and for letting us help celebrate her birthday too.

Richard and Linley

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