Pancake Rocks & the Rugged West Coast

Day One of our roadtrip around New Zealand's South Island consisted of waking up in a parking lot in Westport (yes, we're sleeping in our car again) and driving along some gorgeous and rugged coastline. Our first stop was Cape Foulwind, the perfect place to catch the sunrise and spot baby seals.

From Cape Foulwind, we cruised Highway 6 down the West Coast. All of our surroundings were green and lush from an intermittent drizzle. It was probably one of the loveliest drives either of us have ever done - and hardly anyone was on the road. We found ourselves stopping quite a few times to photo-document the beauty of the area.

Before we knew it, we had entered Paparoa National Park - the home of New Zealand's famous Pancake Rocks. It was a wonderland of layered, stacked cliffs and promontories as well as "blowholes" where the sea spray would shoot out of the ground after particularly large waves.

After getting coated in salty spray, we returned to our car and kept cruising further south. Soon, the coastline narrowed and we found ourselves alongside the Southern Alps in time for the sunset to bring an alpenglow to it's peaks. 

If you ever have the time to drive along the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island, I would highly recommend it. There are so many beautiful places to see and small friendly towns to stop in like Westport or Hokitika. In some sections, you can even go from seeing a glacier and snow-capped peaks to walking through a rainforest on your way to cliff-studded beaches in an hour or less.

Why the West Coast Should Be on Your South Island Roadtrip Itinerary // A must do on New Zealand's South Island // Why You Should Drive down New Zealand's West Coast
Don't miss the South Island's stunning West Coast on your next New Zealand roadtrip