Punakaiki’s Pancake Rocks

Jan 24, 2020

The layered Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki in New Zealand with blue ocean water in the distance

photo by Tami Lapthorne-Hastings

Take your time to appreciate New Zealand’s sights

AAA Washington member Tami Lapthorne-Hastings was on a New Zealand road trip in the fall of 2013 when she took this photo of Paparoa National Park’s pancake rocks, formed 30 million years ago. “When the waves are coming in, you feel the power beneath your feet and all this water spews up from the blowholes,” the Auburn resident said. “There are so many things in New Zealand that just take your breath away (like) the color of the water, the greenery all around you. You can just snap and snap and snap away. There is so much to take pictures of.” She recommends sailing on the Interislander ferry across the Cook Strait between the North Island and the South Island, where “bottlenose dolphins chased us almost the entire trip.” Prepare for a long flight to get there — at least 16 hours, including stops in Los Angeles or San Francisco — but when you arrive, “take your leisurely time” and make sure to stop for a look if something catches your eye, Lapthorne-Hastings said. “You’re going to miss out on something if you don’t.”
This story originally appeared in the January/February 2020 edition of the AAA Washington member magazine, Journey.
Share your photos with us! Whether you were on a Northwest road trip, aboard a cruise ship or traveling internationally, we’ll select photos from AAA Washington members to publish in our member magazine, Journey, in e-newsletters and online.

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