April 25th
written by Alonna

The West Coast of New Zealand is beautiful! We spent a few days between Westport and Haast enjoying the scenery, good weather, and fun activities. Here’s some highlights…

Caving Adventure

Not knowing much about it we randomly signed up for a cool-looking caving tour, and it turned out to be worth it. The cave is undeveloped; only a guide rope has been added. We entered armed with wetsuits, headlamps, and a small inner tube in tow. The cave formations were very impressive, and part way through we turned off our lights in the middle to see the absolute darkness in the cave. Then we descended to the lower level of the cave which has water that flows into the nearby river. We boarded our inner tubes, turned off our lights, and floated through the cave with millions of “glow worms” lighting up the cave ceiling above us. Glow worms are small worms that live on rocks and catch insects with tiny sticky threads hanging down. And, their bums light up! Floating through the glow worm cave was magical.

Pancake Rocks

There’s a funny set of rock formations along the coast called Pancake Rocks. During high-tide and rough seas, large waves will cause water to shoot up through blowholes, making large booming sounds and showering nearby rocks (and sometimes tourists). We spent a couple hours watching the explosions and trying to get cool videos and photos. It was good fun.

The Beautiful West Coast


Yes, there are a lot of sheep in New Zealand. Near Westport we ran into a sheep drive! We just parked the car and waited for the sheep dog to chase the sheep further along on the road.


  1. Sandra

    Ohh, what cool photos!!! sounds like you guys are seeing some beautiful stuff!! and glow worms too!

  2. mom A.

    Just when I think ~ you’ve done it all ~ you come up with a new adventure!! Simply amazing!

  3. Eric Lipari

    Awesome. I went on an identical cave tour on the North Island. A lot of fun…although we didn’t get gloves so my hands were freezing at the end.
    Great pics of the West Coast.
    Enjoy the rest of your stay in NZ and AUS.

  4. 04/29/2010

    @Eric – the gloves were awesome, they were webbed to help us paddle in the water. We ended up exiting the cave into a river and floating downstream through “rapids” for about 20 minutes.

  5. Eric

    Oh man that sounds like a lot of fun. I wanna go back now!