The Three Sisters and Elephant Rock visit happened as an unplanned detour following our long weekend in New Plymouth. We learned early on that you should always stop for green Department of Conservation signs or brown arrow signs while driving around New Zealand. These signs never disappoint!
The Three Sisters (though only two originals left) are rock formations standing 25 meters tall along the North Taranaki coast. Their third sister was swept away to sea following a storm several years ago. We learned later that another rock formation had separated itself leaving the name unchanged.
Elephant Rock is a rock formation shaped as…. you guessed it….an elephant!
We parked and walked along the river admiring the moss-covered rocks and unique boulders. This area is only accessible during low tide.
Due to our lack of research before arriving, we assumed the 1st large chuck of rock we saw was Elephant Rock. It had 3 cutouts and the front resembled an elephant trunk to me. (Spoiler alert: this is not elephant rock) The girls enjoyed walking through the large archways anyway.
A behind the scenes photo of me practicing with my new camera…. and the education continues!
A short clip of the waves crashing into shore and the rock outcroppings.
Elephant Rock is actually hiding behind the Sisters Rocks and I did not walk over far enough to notice we had the wrong elephant shaped rock. The tide was beginning to come in and we were in a hurry to get home. It was not until later on that I realized it was further down the beach. A few weeks after our visit the “trunk” crumbled to the ground following a major Earthquake changing the look of elephant rock forever. It really is a shame that I did not venture over closer.
Overall it was a lovely surprise on our drive from New Plymouth to Hamilton. My understanding is the best photography can be captured at sunset as the rocks reflect off the water lined iron sand. Mount Taranaki can even be spotted in the background on clear days.
We had similar experiences at sunset on Raglan Beach capturing the mountains and clouds in the water reflection. Too bad this particular day was so dreary!