Why I maintain going again to Punakaiki

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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 nearly the complete size of the South Island. Dwelling to massive mountains, uncommon birds, historic forests, and no folks, 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 straightforward, and having fun with being in nature.

You’ll be able to’t rush right here; it’s a spot that conjures up mindfulness and rest. I come right here no less than yearly to go off the grid, loosen up, and reset, and I usually come up right here to put in writing. This previous winter, I spent nearly per week on the Perfect Stranger’s Bach on a West Coast getaway, which was magical. 

West Coast getaway

West Coast getaway

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 believe so. Are you able to relate?

Certainly one of my favourite issues about this a part of the West Coast is that it’s stuffed 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 lots 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 unique 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 should you come to the large bay, you’ve gone too far.” 

Far out, I like that.

West Coast getaway

West Coast getaway

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 concerning the surf. Household-owned for many years, discerning readers would possibly acknowledge the identify from the 2003 kiwi movie Good Strangers, a lot of which was shot right here. Belief me; it’s much more tranquil in actual life.

Welcome to my completely happy place! I’ve pushed by this spot so many instances, however until you realize it’s right here, you’ll miss it. It’s so distant that you just park alongside State Freeway 6 and wander right down to it. There’s not plenty of visitors on this a part of the nation. 

Weka positively outnumber the locals right here, correctly. 

West Coast getaway

West Coast getaway

West Coast getaway

A secret I spill so usually it might probably’t actually be referred to as a secret anymore is that I believe 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 stunning bluebird nonetheless, clear and heat days. As a result of it’s such a wild place, folks are likely to suppose that winter should be the worst climate, once I’ve discovered the alternative to be true. Massive storms are available summer season.

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 can 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. 

West Coast getaway

West Coast getaway

West Coast getaway

However by far, the very best a part of staying on the Good Stranger’s Bach on a West Coast getaway is that you’ve your individual non-public seashore. 

There aren’t any cabanas or coconuts right here, however it provides a few of the shoreline’s greatest views. You’ve a sandy seashore plus rockpools to discover – at all times test 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 scripting this has made me so nostalgic for this unbelievable place. To go to sleep to waves crashing alongside the seashore and native birdsong within the air is nothing wanting magical. 

The place’s your haven? Do you have got a favourite place by the ocean that calls to you? Share!

West Coast getaway

West Coast getaway

West Coast getaway

Many because of Good Strangers for internet hosting me on the West Coast – like at all times, I’m retaining it actual – as you can count on much less from me!