West Coast, Punakaiki

A perfect place for adventure. Explore and marvel amongst New Zealand's greatest natural formations.

About West Coast

Punakaiki is a small community on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, between Westport and Greymouth. The community lies on the edge of the Paparoa National Park.

The Pancake Rocks are a very popular tourist destination at Dolomite Point south of the main village. The Pancake Rocks are a heavily eroded limestone area where the sea bursts through several vertical blowholes during high tides. Together with the 'pancake'-layering of the limestone (created by immense pressure on alternating hard and soft layers of marine creatures and plant sediments), these form the main attraction of the area.

The Pancake Rocks are presently explorable by a number of walkways winding through the rock formations, parts of these wheelchair-accessible and others carved into stairways up and down the rock faces. State Highway 6, the only through road on the West Coast, passes through the town.

Attractions

 

The Pancake Rocks and Punakaiki Blow Holes

The Pancake Rocks and Punakaiki Blow Holes

The Pancake Rocks and Blow Holes are limestone formations over 30 million years old. Over the years, deceased lime-rich marine life would settle on the sea floor and has since been covered by layers of mud and clay. Over time the limestone has been moulded into extraordinary shapes by the wind and waves. Take a stroll from Punakaiki Resort, only 300 metres from the famous attraction at high tide for the optimum experience.

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The Truman Track

The Truman Track

For an easy 30 minute walk that offers the best New Zealand nature has to offer - take the Truman Track - a short distance from Punakaiki Resort. Walk through beautiful native bush to a small, picturesque beach on the short 1.5km walk.

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Carters Beach

Carters Beach

Located just six kilometres from Westport, Carters Beach is a wonderful example of the famous wild West Coast beaches New Zealand is known for. Carters Beach is a safe swimming beach and a great place to take the family in summer.

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Glow Worm Cave Tour - Charleston

Glow Worm Cave Tour - Charleston

Travel through the Nile River Caves in the Paparoa National Park and take in the spectacular Glow Worm galaxies and a wonderland of ancient stalagmites and stalactites. The Glow Worm tour is in Charleston, only 30 minutes from your West Coast hotel.

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Cape Foulwind Seal Colony

Cape Foulwind Seal Colony

Cape Foulwind is located near Westport on New Zealand's West Coast; it's home to a Fur Seal colony which is accessbile via a well-maintained walking track to Tauranga Bay.

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Hokitika Gorge Walk

Hokitika Gorge Walk

Hokitika Gorge is truely one of the most beautiful walks in New Zealand. The walk to the gorge is very short at 15 minutes and is suitable for all ages - although small children should be supervised closeley at the end of the track. For a little more adventure, take a walk over the swing bridge for some stunning upstream views.

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Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier

Take a trip to Fox Glacier - an absosute must-see while you're in the West Coast. The glacier is one of the most accessible in the world and there are plenty of guided tours and walks that will have you up close to the 13km ancient ice giant.

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