Ideal duration: 2-3 Days
Best Time: December - March Read More
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Sandwiched in between the towns of Westport and Greymouth on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island lies one of the country’s most visited natural attractions. Punakaiki is particularly famous for being the site of the Pancake Rocks; a geographic rock formation that is made up of millions of years’ worth of marine creatures and sand under tremendous pressure. As a result of the constant erosion that the rock faced due to the ocean tides and the wind, the resulting rock formation seemed to rise out of the ground resembling a stack of pancakes, hence its name. Punakaiki is also a popular tourist destination for blowholes; natural rock formations that have holes in them that the ocean gushes through from underneath during high tide.
Punakaiki and the township of the same name are not just famous for their rock formations, though. The town is also notable for being the base to begin exploring the Paparoa National Park. The Paparoa National Park is known for having a remarkably diverse landscape and encompasses everything from sandy beaches, to evergreen subtropical rainforests complete with gushing rivers flowing through them. Horseback treks are another popular tourist activity that allows travellers the opportunity to experience the scenic beauty through a completely different perspective. Canoeing is another popular activity in the region and canoeing through the Pororari River is a definite highlight for many.
The township of Punakaiki is also known to be a hub for artisanal craftsmanship and is a centre for glassblowing, knifemaking, and other handicrafts. The town has many studios and galleries where travellers can purchase these artisans’ work.
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