The Kueh Lapis – Punakaiki, New Zealand Trip #7

April 20, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Posted in itchy backside | Leave a comment
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Checked out of the motel at Greymouth early in the morning as Itchyfingers decided to drop by somewhere we read on the guidebook. As we drove along the coast, we stopped to take a look at the beautiful sea.

Nice layering effects of the waves…er…did I see something familiar?

Zooming in with the telephoto lens, these look a bit like the Twelve
in the Victoria state of Australia! Hahahah… 

About 40 minutes from Greymouth, we finally reached our destination…

The Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes! Pancake Rocks? Such cute
name right? 

A round trip will take about 20 minutes…

The park had well-laid path for wheelchair assess

At the side of the path were these taller than human plants with long leaf
blades. These are called the
New Zealand Flax (Phormium tenax). Leaves
and the extracted fibre were used by the Maori to make clothing, sandals,
mats, baskets, ropes, fishing lines and nets. Float or rafts were constructed
out of bundles of flower stalks. The plant was also highly valued for its
medicinal qualities

Too bad we were too early, otherwise when the plant flowers in Spring,
it will attract many nectar-feeding birds

Besides the Flax, there were a lot of these tall trees..

Called the
Cabbage Tree (Cordyline australis), this is another useful
tree for the Maori

Then there were also these tall palm trees…

Nikau (Rhopalostylis sapida) is closely related to the tropical Betel
Nut, Date Palm and Coconut

A closer look

See the layerings on the rocks? Don’t they look like Kueh Lapis? Hahah…
of course in New Zealand they won’t know what is Kueh Lapis lah, so they
called them Pancake Rocks…hahahha. The Pancake Rocks are actually

limestone formation caused by erosion of the sea

Don’t you think this looks like a side profile of a man’s head with punky
green hair?

A sign explaining the natural occurence of the limestone

But as to the strange layering effects, scientists are not completely sure about it…It just shows that human still have so many things to discover and learn from nature…

The making of the Kueh Lapis…hahah

Plants among the layers…

Were the gulls trying to have a slice of the “Kueh Lapis”? Haha…

The Variable Oystercatchers (Haematopus unicolor). No lah, he’s not
handicapped…His other leg was tucked underneath the body 

Wow this looks like Frankestein! Hahahah….And was Mr Frankestein
growing “beard” on his “chin”??

Bull Kelps! 

A closer look at the kelps

I keep seeing faces among the Pancakes…How many faces can you see?
Use your imagination!

Boardwalk leading to the various blowholes…

Very well-maintained

Who was the itchy finger to do this weaving on people’s plant!!?! I saw two
of these! 

This is called the Surge Pool where you look down on a dramatic spectacle
as the sea powers in underneath, sometimes through a huge build-up of foam

This is the 
Chimney Pot Blowhole which is supposed to emit columns of spray
as the sea gushes in through a narrow rock channel. But we din get to see
any…Think the tides were not strong enough at the time…

We soon reached a viewing platform to the biggest blowhole, Putai. Putai
is more a fissure than a hole. 
When the sea thunders through the caverns
below, a mixture of compressed water and air escapes upward as a wall
of spray, visible for a long distance on stormy days

Din really see many spectacular sprays but the formation was beautiful

Walked down a few steps here

These “Kueh Lapis” should be manmade ones….

Nonetheless, life still managed to thrive…

Another pancake limestone forming faces…Can’t figure out?

Check out the sign!

We were glad that we made the last minute decision to come to the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes for the short excursion. Certainly very interesting, though didn’t get to see many spectacular gush of waves at the blowholes. When we saw the guidebook, they showed a picture of a person standing on the Pancake Rock itself. But after coming here, we wonder how and where did the person walk up from? Hmm….

To much of our delight, at the carpark just before I closed the car door, I saw a bird walking out from the bushes in front of our car! At first we thought it was the Kiwi! But then it looked bigger and the bill certainly didn’t look anything like the Kiwi….and the Kiwi is supposed to be a nocturnal and secretive shy bird. Was even more surprised when it wasn’t really afraid of people and Tisu Boy managed to get some photos of it…

It was later when Itchyfingers checked out at the bookshop that we realised
this is called the Weka (Gallirallus australis), a flightless bird from the 
rail family, endemic to New Zealand. A lifer for Itchyfingers! Time for a
Kueh Lapis for celebration!  

Also see related posts:
Changing Landscape – Arthur Pass, New Zealand Trip #6
> Seal with a Kiss – Kaikoura, New Zealand Trip #5
Freezing Sunset – Kaikoura, New Zealand Trip #4
Alfresco Dining – Kaikoura, New Zealand Trip #3
A Roller Coaster Ride – Kaikoura, New Zealand Trip #2
Mass Exodus – Christchurch, New Zealand Trip #1


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