Punakaiki is a small community on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. Punakaiki is situated 67 km south of Westport and 43 km north of Graymouth, on State highway 6, the only through road on the West Coast. The town lies on the edge of the Paparoa National Park.
Punakaiki is the service town for the Paparoa National Park. The park consists of 300 square kilometres of lush West Coast native rainforest, with rugged mountain tops and wild surf pounded beaches and coastline. Located in the centre of the parks coastline, Punakaiki is a good base to explore the area. Punakaiki's activities include forest, beach and mountain walks, kayaking and canoeing, horse trekking, Punakaiki surfing for the competent surfer, gemstone hunting, caving and climbing. There is abundant wildlife to observe and heritage sites to inspect.
The Pancake Rocks are the areas most popular tourist attraction, they are situated just south of the main village, on State Highway 6, at Dolomite Point. The point consists of limestone rock, which has been heavily eroded, by the surf and weather, to form what looks like piles of pancakes stacked on top of each other. At high tide, when a sea swell is running, the sea bursts though a number of vertical blowholes, spraying salt water high into the air, beside the well made, wheelchair friendly, walkways
There’s a very good tavern, the one with the horses out the front, which serves excellent food, we recommend the pancakes here also. There are cafés and restaurants, and a great range of accommodation inPunakaiki. The area has a lively arts and crafts community, which have a cooperative gallery, worth viewing.
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