Punakaiki, The West Coast, South Island, New Zealand


Punakaiki is famous for its Pancake Rocks and Blowholes -
these are spectacular, especially in wild weather and definitely not to be missed.

Entrance to Pancake RocksThe Pancake Rocks are columns of limestone resembling stacks of pancakes, carved out over thousands of years by the wild Tasman Sea.
 At high tide seawater is forced upwards through blowholes,
giving spectacular displays.
There are several walkways through the area of the Pancake Rocks,
with good viewing points.

Punakaiki lies on the edge of the Paparoa National Park
 and at Punakaiki you will find the Paparoa National Park Visitor Centre,
here you can find information on bush walks, adventure activities,
 weather and track information.

Pun akakiPunakaki

The loop walkway around the pancake rocks at Punakaiki is one of the most popular tourist spots on the West Coast.
An easily accessible walkway that is wheelchair friendly winds through the nikau palms, cabbage trees and flax to a spectacular layered limestone formation that has been shaped by the elements and crashing waves from the Tasman Sea
At high tide in a big sea, the waves crashing into the limestone force water into cracks and crevasses and
up through blowholes in the rock to create huge plumes of salty spray in which rainbows can often be seen.
People of all ages will enjoy this walk and the stunning coastal views.

Opposite the entrance to the blowhole loop track is Punakaiki Crafts, a West Coast artist’s cooperative.
Punakaiki Crafts has an international reputation for excellence and the work many of the Coast’s most creative artists and craftspeople is available for sale. From warm possum skin lingerie, creative and unique Coast jewellery to smiling driftwood fish, Punakaiki Crafts is a great place to pick up a quality souvenir from the West Coast.

There are also some great tramps in the Punakaiki area from the sedate Truman Track, which meanders through the rainforest
to a stunning coastal view, to the more challenging Inland Pack Track into the heart of limestone country.
The Pororari and Punakaiki rivers offer fabulous canoeing, safe swimming and bird watching activities and
there are also many caves in the region and horse riding along the beach is the embodiment of freedom.

Punakaiki Nikau Palms