Drive Time from Paroa Hotel: 40 minutes
Be inspired by the must see attraction found in Paparoa National Park that is the Pancake Rocks. Punakaiki can be found in one of New Zealand’s 14 National Parks and is home to the world famous blowholes, rugged beaches and rain forests.
You can picnic along the beach while watching surfers ride the torrid waves. There are cafe’s to be enjoyed and bush walks a plenty. Enjoy some West Coast craft and arts that can be found in and around the area.
The main attraction that can be found in Punakaiki is the blowholes and ”pancake rocks”. The pancake rocks have been coined this name because of the shape that they have taken 30 million years ago. Minute fragments of water creatures and plants landed on the seabed, about 2km below the surface. Immense water pressure caused the fragments to solidify into hard and soft rock types. Seismic movement caused the sea bed to erupt out of the sea. Through millions of years of mildly acidic rain, wind and sea spray these rocks have been sculpted into these bizarre shaped formations.
The blowholes on the other hand are a more exhillirating sight and can be enjoyed by all ages as it only takes 10 minutes to walk there from the main road. This occurs when surges in the Tasman sea move in between tight chasims of rocks causing the water to explode in an upward motion, spraying water into the air displaying an awesome sight. High tide is the best time to visit. Check out this video of the blowholes altough it has to be seen to be believed.