A Geological Wonder
Discover the magical oasis of one of the West Coast's best hidden gems. On this unforgettable 20-minute walking loop, you'll get breathtaking views of the coastline, and discover geological oddities, You may even meet the local birdlife and marine mammals!
It's not every day that you have the opportunity to explore a natural retreat formed over 30 million years! So, grab your camera and head off to take in this impressive, and majestic, all-weather activity. What a thrill it will be as the roaring waves surge through the gigantic rock formations – blowing salty ocean spray into the air.
What's so special about a bunch of rocks?
The Pancake Rocks are a series of limestone rock formations that have been eroded over time by the sea, wind, and rain. Named after their pancake-like appearance, the rocks are layered and compressed. The layers of rock are believed to have formed millions of years ago from the accumulation of marine organisms and sediment.
What makes Punakaiki Pancake Rocks so special is the way that they have been eroded by the sea. The rocks have been sculpted into a series of arches, blowholes, and caves, which are exposed to the pounding waves of the Tasman Sea. This has created a unique natural spectacle, where seawater is forced through narrow crevices in the rocks and is then released with explosive force, creating spectacular geysers of spray and sound.
If animal life is what you came to see, then Punakaiki Pancake Rocks provides a home to a variety of plant and animal life, which include seabirds, seals, and penguins.
A Self- Guided Trail
Your short walk begins as you duck into a canopy of local flora. Along the smooth walking path, you'll have many opportunities along the way to learn about this fascinating landscape.
Now in clearing, begin to read the informative information plaques. Discover how these curious formations are still puzzling the scientists and about the marine wildlife in the area.
You won't want to leave without getting a photo of the grand blowhole and discovering 'the faces' on the rocks. What can you see?
How to find Pancake Rocks and Blow Holes
4294 State Highway 6, Punakaiki 7873
Discover the West Coast
From idyllic lakes to geological wonders, discover why New Zealand's West Coast is such a spectacular place to visit:
Getting to Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes
Travel to Punakaiki by train aboard the heavenly TranzAlpine. You can choose one of our day experiences or book a short escape and discover the enigmatic Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes.