Punakaiki Pancake Rocks – New Zealand

As we head north of Greymouth we feast on the spectacular ocean views of Punakaiki and the Paparoa National Park.

Know for pancake rocks and blow holes it is easy to see why they say it is a must see on the West Coast of the South Island.


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The Pancake Rocks that Punakaiki is famous for, are limestone formations that began forming 30 million years ago, when lime-rich fragments of dead marine creatures were deposited on the seabed, then overlaid by weaker layers of soft mud and clay was raised above sealevel by earthquakes to form the coastal cliffs and coastline. The sea, wind and rain have since etched out the soft layers to form the unusual rock formations we see today. When conditions are right, heavy ocean swells thunder into the caverns beneath the rocks and huge water spouts blast skywards through the blowholes in a truly spectacular sight. (http://www.punakaiki.co.nz/about_punakaiki/)

There is a short 20-minute walking trail that is paved.

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It would have been easy to take the kids but everyone decided to have a nap while I went for the walk.

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What do you see?  Some people have a great imagination and can see all sorts of creatures in these rocks.

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Did you see any of these creatures?

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The wind, rain, and sea constantly change the formations and leave behind the harder stone.

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Unfortunately, there was no activity at the blow holes.  I imagine a higher tide would have produced some great sprays to see.

We rounded out our drive by heading a little further north to the small town of Carters Beach.  Know for their sunsets and spectacular star gazing, we were not disappointed.

As we marveled at the wonders of nature we were also left wondering just what happened here.

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