Jess is a Wanderer headed south from Nelson after Boxing Day. After relaxing on the beach, it was time to do some exploring. We visited Tauranga Seal Colony, Cape Foulwind Lighthouse and Pancake Rocks.
State Highway 6 is often referred to as being one of the most beautiful and scenic drives in the world. Hugging the coastline for much of the way, you're greeted with blue sea, white sand, wildlife and some impressive rock formations. There are so many things to stop and see along the way, I recommend visiting them all if time allows.
The walk to Cape Foulwind Lighthouse passes through the seal colony. The colony itself is only around five minutes from the car park and you'll soon start to spot the chubby blubbery blobs frolicking around on the rocks in front of you. The longer you stand to watch, the more the rocks come alive and you realise there are more seals than you originally thought.
Continuing up over the cliffs, the walk is around 3km to the lighthouse. It's a well-formed path that's steep and winding in parts but the views are a good enough distraction if you're feeling tired.
Once at the lighthouse, you can carry on down to Cape Foulwind carpark or turn around back the way you came. If your car is at the Tauranga Bay car park it's probably worth heading back.
Further along the road, you come to Pancake Rocks which is a scientific phenomena that has puzzled the greatest minds for years. Layers of rocks appear like pancake stacks, creating some beautiful views. There are blow holes, and mighty waves to stand and admire. If you can find a gap in the pressing crowd. I think this is the busiest place I've seen in New Zealand so far. I couldn't believe how many visitors there were. Not sure I've ever seen so many people in once place. There's a lot more on the West Coast that I didn't have time to visit. So, guess what? I'll have to return!