Why I hold going again to Punakaiki
It’s been no secret how a lot I like New Zealand’s West Coast.
Ever since my first go to in 2013, I’ve been enamored with this quiet but highly effective nook of New Zealand. The least populated area, the West Coast, stretched virtually all the size of the South Island. Residence to massive mountains, uncommon birds, historic forests, and no individuals, it couldn’t be extra good, particularly for introverts like me.
However nowhere captures my coronary heart greater than the stretch of shoreline from Greymouth to Westport, particularly round Punakaiki. It’s a spot that vacationers go to however not as many as different spots on the South Island with extra dramatic vistas. This a part of the West Coast is all about slowing down, taking it simple, and having fun with being in nature.
You’ll be able to’t rush right here; it’s a spot that evokes mindfulness and rest. I come right here at the very least yearly to go off the grid, chill out, and reset, and I usually come up right here to write down. This previous winter, I spent virtually every week on the Perfect Stranger’s Bach on a West Coast getaway, which was magical.
There’s something so nostalgic about being by the ocean. I usually marvel if it speaks to some historic a part of our manufacturers; are we tapping into one thing we inherently crave however can’t vocalize? Why? I feel so. Are you able to relate?
Considered one of my favourite issues about this a part of the West Coast is that it’s filled with hideaways and previous baches (traditional kiwi vacation houses) hidden amongst the flax bushes beside the ocean. With its dense rainforests, you usually don’t even know they’re there. Over time, I’ve stayed in a lot of them, loving all of them. Every and everybody has an epic story and make for an unforgettable West Coast getaway.
Maybe I like this space as a result of it does really feel like a distinct decade. With little cellphone reception to being fairly distant, many baches have instructions like “2.3 kilometers previous the bridge by the third-mile signal, and when you come to the large bay, you’ve gone too far.”
Far out, I like that.
This time I spent 5 days on the Perfect Strangers Bach, simply north of Punakaiki.
One of many OG baches of its time, it’s tucked away proper in regards to the surf. Household-owned for many years, discerning readers would possibly acknowledge the identify from the 2003 kiwi movie Excellent Strangers, a lot of which was shot right here. Belief me; it’s much more tranquil in actual life.
Welcome to my completely satisfied place! I’ve pushed by this spot so many instances, however except you realize it’s right here, you’ll miss it. It’s so distant that you just park alongside State Freeway 6 and wander all the way down to it. There’s not loads of site visitors on this a part of the nation.
Weka undoubtedly outnumber the locals right here, correctly.
A secret I spill so usually it could’t actually be referred to as a secret anymore is that I feel New Zealand’s West Coast is greatest skilled in winter, Punakiki particularly.
From Fiordland as much as Golden Bay, the winds die down within the wintertime, and the ocean turns into calm. The clouds disappear, and also you usually get lovely bluebird nonetheless, clear and heat days. As a result of it’s such a wild place, individuals are likely to assume that winter have to be the worst climate, after I’ve discovered the alternative to be true. Large storms are available in summer time.
And when you rise up to Punakaiki and additional north, it sits in a wee trans-Tasman microclimate that brings heat, humid air. That’s why you get so many tropical native palms and nikau right here. You’ll be able to even develop fruit that in any other case you may solely develop far north on the North Island.
The locals will in all probability homicide me for sharing this, however I can’t assist it.
However by far, one of the best a part of staying on the Excellent Stranger’s Bach on a West Coast getaway is that you’ve your personal non-public seaside.
There aren’t any cabanas or coconuts right here, nevertheless it provides among the shoreline’s greatest views. You’ve a sandy seaside plus rockpools to discover – at all times verify the tide instances; low is greatest. And there’s an impressive quantity of mussels to forage alongside the shoreline. Is there something higher than white wine linguini with mussels you caught your self? Nope, there isn’t.
Simply penning this has made me so nostalgic for this unimaginable place. To go to sleep to waves crashing alongside the seaside and native birdsong within the air is nothing in need of magical.
The place’s your haven? Do you might have a favourite place by the ocean that calls to you? Share!
Many because of Excellent Strangers for internet hosting me on the West Coast – like at all times, I’m retaining it actual – as you may count on much less from me!