The decision to leave Wellington and tour the southeastern shores of the North Island while we waited for our postponed ferry departure (something we had planned to do when we returned to the North Island in May), was worth every second!
We started the journey with a hike through the Putangirua (poo-tangi-roo-ah) Pinnacles; a section of NZ that has a strikingly similar appearance to South Dakota’s Badlands (you be the judge?). We completed the suggested hike, which provided an aerial view of the pinnacles; however, our WOLOtude lead us in search of more, so we spent thirty minutes rock hopping up the creek bed until we were surrounded by spires stretching toward the blue sky. Walking among the base of the giants was something out of this world (which is probably why it was a shooting location for The Lord of the Rings)!
As if the pinnacles didn’t provide enough awe-inspiring, open-mouthed gorgeousness, we decided to drive to the most southeastern point of the North Island, Cape Palliser. At the end of the road, along the rocky coast, stood the beautiful pinned-striped Cape Palliser Lighthouse – we ascended the steps and took in the view, as well as the realization that we had now ventured to the North Island’s most northern lighthouse, as well as it’s most southern lighthouse.
As late afternoon approached, we made our way back to our free camp spot for the night, but not before pulling off the road and finding the highly entertaining, yet some times obscure, Cape Palliser fur seal colony. At first, we noticed the smell (something very similar to a rotting carcass), and then the sounds, and finally, the splashing of twenty or so fur seal pups WOLOing in the tide pools, safe from the Orcas! We’ll try to get the video uploaded to our WOLOtude FB page – it’s a must-see!
We ended the long, yet satisfying day with an amazing sunset. It was undeniably beautiful, providing a silhouette of the islands that dot the South Island’s Marlborough Sounds, our destination beyond the ferry!
Next stop: The Marlborough Sounds
– Go. Change your state of mind.