Brake in the Clouds
Punakaiki, day two of our four day trip away over Arthur's Pass and back through the Lewis Pass. February 8, 2012. South Island, New Zealand.
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 goal at Dolomite Point south of the main village. The Pancake Rocks are a heavily eroded limestone area where the sea bursts though a number of 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.
Paparoa National Park's spectacular cliffs and caves typify the West's rugged coastline, with one of the best known features being pancake rocks and blowholes at Punakaiki. These fascinating limestone formations put on a spectacular spouting display when a high tide combines with a strong westerly swell.