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Steps back in time

March 9, 2015

Treetop Wak    Punakaiki                                        Punakaiki rocks

This morning we stopped at the Treetop Walkway near Hokitika, stepping back in time to view giant podocarp trees which originated in New Zealand about 65 million years ago.

While the trees are ancient, the steel walkway is roughly 3 years old. It was prefabricated in Australia and shipped across to create a giant viewing platform 20 metres up in the canopy.

Stepping onto it I realised why I had not heard much birdsong in New Zealand up to now. The birds are obviously higher up in the branches than at home.

Not being a great one for heights I completed the track at a brisk pace, trying not to look down or panic too much when the walkway moved.

When it came to climbing the spiral stairs of the 47 metre high tower I left that one to Ian so he could photograph the views from higher up.

I prefer to keep my feet on the ground so this afternoon’s trip was much more to my liking.

We visited the Punakaiki or pancake rocks which formed from skeletons and seashells about 30 million years ago.

The rocks are made of alternate layers of sand and limestone which have been sculpted over time into pancake like stacks by the wind, rain and sea water. The sea booms against the rocks and blows out again through the holes worn away below the cliffs.

As I write this post the Tasman sea is booming onto the rocky shore of our beachside campsite and there is a spectacular coral sunset across a feathered sky.

Ian has dashed out  to try to capture the scene with his digital camera.

 

 

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From → Travel Writing

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