13-12-2004

From Haast we drove up the very scenic west coast to Fox Glacier where we
had a moment to check out the glacier. The clouds didn’t allow us to see the mountains so
Lake Matheson was no good at all in reflecting Mount Cook. We skipped the Franz Josef
Glacier and drove on to Greymouth and further on to Punakaiki. We paid the Pancake
Rocks a quick visit and found a nicely situated guesthouse (Te Nikau Retreat, NZ $ 55,-,
3 km north of Punakaiki town).
The night was spent at Bullock’s Creek, a known spot for Great Spotted Kiwi.
Unfortunately it started raining again but I tried anyway, hoping that the water in the
creek wouldn’t rise too fast floating the only road out of the area. I eventually heard both
male and female Great Spotted Kiwi (Apteryx haastii, Grote Grijze Kiwi) but they
called from within the woods and it is impossible to get into there since the area is filled
with potholes. Actually the chances of seeing a Kiwi here are slim as most of the trails
are noisy and penetrating the forest is no option.