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The West Coast

Foul Winds, Pancakes and Wekas

Cape Foulwind

When Abel Tasman became the first European to come to this headland in 1642, he named it Rocky Cape. In 1770, James Cook changed the name to Cape Foulwind, after his ship the Endeavor was blown offshore by "foul" winds. We followed the Cape Foulwind trail, along the cliffs and over farmland, to the fur seal colony at Tauranga Bay. Don't you just love the name??

The cliff side portion of our walk at Cape Foulwind had this view.

The cliff side portion of our walk at Cape Foulwind had this view.

Several fan tails were our constant companions on all our walks. They are never still and often would flit within a few inches of us. I thought they were coming close to protect their nests, but I later found out that they are just looking for any insects that human movement might stir up.

Several fan tails were our constant companions on all our walks. They are never still and often would flit within a few inches of us. I thought they were coming close to protect their nests, but I later found out that they are just looking for any insects that human movement might stir up.


The Cape Foulwind Lighthouse.

The Cape Foulwind Lighthouse.

As we rested at one of the vistas along this walk, what should appear but this friendly hen. This is a weka (also known as a Māori hen); it is a flightless native bird of NZ.

As we rested at one of the vistas along this walk, what should appear but this friendly hen. This is a weka (also known as a Māori hen); it is a flightless native bird of NZ.

Wekas are known for being friendly and curious. They like to steal shiny objects. Obviously, this weka thought that a backpack on the ground was fair game.

Wekas are known for being friendly and curious. They like to steal shiny objects. Obviously, this weka thought that a backpack on the ground was fair game.


It is hard to believe that this particular area was once home to a rock quarry.

It is hard to believe that this particular area was once home to a rock quarry.

Wall Island at Cape Foulwind is free from the predators, and a safe place for birds to breed.

Wall Island at Cape Foulwind is free from the predators, and a safe place for birds to breed.

The fur seal colony at Tauranga Bay.

The fur seal colony at Tauranga Bay.

This view looks over Tauranga Bay toward the small village of the same name.

This view looks over Tauranga Bay toward the small village of the same name.

The map of our walk at Cape Foulwind.

The map of our walk at Cape Foulwind.

After leaving Cape Foulwind we eventually found ourselves on the Great Coast Road. This drive reminded us of the Great Ocean Road in AU; we stopped at multiple vistas.

This was one of our favorite stops along the Great Coast Road.

This was one of our favorite stops along the Great Coast Road.

Paparoa National Park

Another stop along the Great Coast Road was at Paparoa NP. In this park our hikes included the following: the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk , Pororari River Track and the Truman Track.

This is the entrance to the Pancake Rocks walkway at Punakaiki.

This is the entrance to the Pancake Rocks walkway at Punakaiki.


These are heavily eroded limestone rocks called the Pancake Rocks.

These are heavily eroded limestone rocks called the Pancake Rocks.

This is a close up look of a section of the Pancake Rocks.The rocks were originally formed on the ocean floor with alternating layers of sandstone and limestone. Earthquakes then lifted the ocean floor up, and the wind and rain eroded away the softer sandstone creating the horizontal slices or stacks of pancakes.

This is a close up look of a section of the Pancake Rocks.The rocks were originally formed on the ocean floor with alternating layers of sandstone and limestone. Earthquakes then lifted the ocean floor up, and the wind and rain eroded away the softer sandstone creating the horizontal slices or stacks of pancakes.

When looking at this board, it was pretty easy to see some of the creatures being formed here.

When looking at this board, it was pretty easy to see some of the creatures being formed here.

This particular blowhole at Dolomite Point, was rather subdued at the time of our visit.

This particular blowhole at Dolomite Point, was rather subdued at the time of our visit.

A view of the Pororari River from our walk of the same name.

A view of the Pororari River from our walk of the same name.

Of course, a certain Truman grad wasn't going to pass up checking out this track! It was named for Jim Truman from the nearby town of Greymouth. He spent two years creating the track in the 1950's. The NZ government would allow no trees or shrubs to be removed for the track; each one was uprooted and repositioned if it sat along the track.

Of course, a certain Truman grad wasn't going to pass up checking out this track! It was named for Jim Truman from the nearby town of Greymouth. He spent two years creating the track in the 1950's. The NZ government would allow no trees or shrubs to be removed for the track; each one was uprooted and repositioned if it sat along the track.

The end of the Truman Track overlooks the Truman Beach.

The end of the Truman Track overlooks the Truman Beach.

We stopped on this west coast beach to look for pounamu (jade) and any other treasures we might find.

We stopped on this west coast beach to look for pounamu (jade) and any other treasures we might find.

Posted by Charedwards 12:40

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