Nestled amongst the native West Coast bush, Rimu Cottage is ideal for couples looking for comfort an......
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Punakaiki is home to one of the major tourist attractions on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand.
The Pancake Rocks are a unique natural attraction. 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.
Whilst enjoying your stay at Hydrangea Cottages you may wish to enjoy a number of other activities in the area, including Horse Trekking, Canoe Hire, Caving, walking in the Paparoa National Park and along the beach or Knife-making (15 min drive south, Jade carving and cave rafting further north.
There is also a café, restaurant, and tavern within walking distance of Hydrangea Cottages and a craft gallery and visitor centre which sells local art and crafts.
For those guests who are staying for a few days, there are a number of beautiful half and full day walks within the Paparoa National Park. Day trips to Westport, Holitika and Greymouth all offer a chance to do a range of activities, walks and site seeing.
There is no grocery store, petrol, or ATM machine in Punakaiki, so stock up before you arrive!
Recommended activities in the area
Drive times to Punakaiki
Greymouth 45 minutes
Westport 1 hour
Christchurch 4.5 hours
Nelson 4 hours
Franz Josef 3 hours
Kaikoura 5.5 hours
Picton 5.5-6 hours