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Our new travel series explores the rugged and almost untouched beauty that is New Zealand. In the first instalment, Sarah Harrison and her little tribe trek to Punakaiki, found on the West Coast of the South Island.
"Firstly, what is bach you ask? Well a bach (pronounced “batch”) is a house, a home, a crib, a hut – it’s usually a small and often very modest holiday home in New Zealand. Baches are an iconic part of New Zealand’s history and culture. They provide an opportunity to escape, to explore and to be a part of the land."
"We headed to the West Coast of the South Island, known simply ‘the coast’ to locals. We hired a bach in Punakaiki, the gateway to the Paparoa National Park. Punakaiki is renowned for its rocky coastline, lush rainforests and deserted beaches. "
"The famous Pancake Rocks and Blowholes remind us of how beautiful nature can be no matter rain, hail or shine. The West Coast is rugged and raw; an honest and untouched beauty which makes visiting all the more unique. "
"Our home for the weekend is an incredibly loved and quintessential kiwi bach. Hidden away off the coastal highway and built on a solid rock that faces out towards the Tasman Sea, Woodpecker Bay Bach is a place where stories are made. If you’re lucky, some of the local wildlife, such as seals and penguins, may even pop in to say hello."
"A trip to the West Coast would not be complete without a whitebait sandwich: a whitebait fritter (whitebait, egg and a pinch of salt and pepper) in between a couple of slices of crunchy, fresh white bread and some freshly squeezed lemon. A true kiwi favourite!"
"During the spring months, you’ll often see locals out ‘whitebaiting’ in rivers trying to catch some of this renowned delicacy. If you manage to get some, park up on a deserted beach, with a locally brewed Monteith’s Radler in hand and watch that famous West Coast sunset. It’ll be a moment that will stay with you forever."