After Nelson, we had a long day of driving to the Glaciers. We also had miscommunicated amongst ourselves, and drove for an hour in the wrong direction. Once we got back on track, we stopped outside of Westport to see a seal colony. It was sort of like playing Where’s Waldo. Even though the seals were relatively close, they were the same color as the rocks, so you didn’t see them right away. There were a couple of times I spotted one and after looking at it for awhile, realized there were one or two more just a foot or two away that I had completely missed. It’s the time of year that the pups are only about a month old. I caught this one sunning its tummy:
We also saw several weka, another brown flightless bird that many mistake for a kiwi when they see it. They are almost as rare, but less timid, so you are more likely to see them:
We stopped again to take in the Pancake rocks, named for the way the rocks look like a stack of pancakes. It was very cold and windy and had even rained a bit, so we had hoped that the blowhole around them was spurting, but I guess it only does that at high tide. Still, it was impressive looking:
That evening we stopped at Fat Pipi’s pizza to try the local delicacy: whitebait. I had seen several signs for restaurants serving whitebait, and our guidebook said it was something you had to eat on the West Coast of NZ. I knew it was a fish, but I had no idea what it looked like until our pizza arrived:
It’s easiest to note around the crust, but that’s lots of tiny little fish with eyes on our pizza. It was actually very good, but the key was just not looking at it or thinking too hard about it while chewing.
We made it into Franz Josef Village that evening.