Pancake Rocks, Punakaiki & General Information
Punakaiki is one of the major tourist attractions on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand.
Activities include: Horse Trekking, Canoe Hire, Caving, Guided walks, Knifemaking (15 min drive south).
Accommodation options are Motels, Backpackers, Homestays, Bed and breakfast and a Camping ground.
There are also cafes, restaurants, and a tavern all within walking distance of Hydrangea cottages. A short drive away, there are more options for a evening meal or lunch.
A craft gallery sells local art and craft, along with a glass bead studio nearby. There is a Department of Conservation Isite located across the road from the Pancake Rocks.
There are great opportunities for half and day walks within Paparoa National park if you were staying a few days. The walks can be started from Hydrangea cottages, so no need to drive your car. Day trips to Westport, Holitika and Greymouth all offer a chance to do a range of activities, walks and site seeing.
The Pancake Rocks, Punakaiki, are a unique natural attraction on New Zealand’s South Island West Coast. Layers of water sculpted limestone, resembling stacks of pancakes, form a fantastic tableau – made even more dramatic by the shooting geysers of sea spray often evident at high tides.
These geysers come from the blowholes – water worn passages through which jets of seawater are forced in high seas. Quite awesome displays of rushing spray can be seen on many days of the year – because of the Tasman Seas’ powerful wave action.
The coastal promontory of the Pancake Rocks is looped by an easy walking track – 15 minutes, or as long as you want to take to stare into the fascinating surge pool at the point (known as the Devils Cauldron), catch the blowholes in action, or enjoy the sweeping views down the Paparoa National Park coastline.
Aoraki, Mt. Cook is sometimes visible far to the south and it is not uncommon to spy a pod of Hectors dolphin close to the rocks. The Pancake Rocks make a great stopover for travellers to stretch their legs and enjoy this wonderful natural feature. A recent Department of Conservation track and viewing platform upgrade makes the Rocks an international-standard visitor attraction.
The magnificent Paparoa National Park landscapes along the coast behind the Pancake Rocks lure the visitor into spending more time in the area. Punakaiki is the locality, and its coastline, lagoons, rivers and lush sub-tropical forest have a special aura – distinct, even on the rugged West Coast.
There is no grocery store, petrol, or ATM machine in Punakaiki, so stock up before you arrive!