We celebrated our 4th anniversary this past weekend! It’s been 4 glorious years, so we celebrated in style. One of Morgan’s goals since we moved here was to watch the sunrise over the East coast, and then drive to the West coast and watch the sunset.
It was a very fun day – the sunrise was perfect. Clear blue skies and the sun was as bright as ever. We watched it rise from the New Brighton pier, and then packed the car to drive across the country.
It’s a solid 4 hours from Christchurch to Punakaiki, but we took a couple of breaks along the way. We stopped and walked around Castle Hill for an hour or two, and then had a picnic in Arthur’s Pass. We had perfect weather for the first half of the day, but once we hit the West side of the mountains the rain started to fall.
We watched the sunset at the Pancake rocks of Punakaiki. It drizzled a bit, but when the sun was setting it managed to burst through the clouds on the horizon. Since it was pretty wet, we went back to the hotel after the sun disappeared. But from our room, we saw the sunlight reappear!
The next morning, we spent a bit of time hiking around Punakaiki. We went to the Truman track, and then back to the Pancake rocks. During high tide, the water crashes up through certain holes in the rock…”blowholes,” as their called. It creates an incredible sound, kind of like a dragon breathing fire (or so I imagine). The air and water blasts through into the air, sometimes more than 50 feet from the water level. We had been to the Pancake rocks a few times, but this was the first time we saw the blowholes, and they were pretty cool!
We drove back via Lewis Pass. It was a nice change of scenery, but it was quite rainy! We did stop for a couple hours in a hot spring, called Maruia Springs. We had a great view of the mountains, but since it was windy and rainy we stayed pretty close to the hot water.
We had an incredible weekend, and checked an item off our bucket list. It was a fun way to celebrate our anniversary, and we’re glad we got to see both the sunrise and the sunset over the ocean!