WHAT TO DO IN PUNAKAIKI
PANCAKE ROCKS & BLOWHOLES
The foundations of the Pancake Rocks were formed 30 million years ago when minute fragments of dead marine creatures and plants landed on the seabed about 2 km below the surface.
Immense water pressure caused them to solidify into layers of more resistant limestone and softer, thin, mud-rich layers.
Gradually seismic action lifted the limestone above the seabed where water, wind and salt spray eroded the softer layers leaving a "pancake" like stack of harder limestone.
Check out this fun free cavern just off the side of the main road! A short wooden staircase leads into the cavern entrance where there are 138m of passages to discover. Look out for stalactites and glowworms.
Location: Just off State Highway 6, a couple of hundred metres south of Punakaiki village.
KAYAK THE PORARARI RIVER
Discover the beauty of the Paparoa National Park and the Porarari River on a kayak tour in Punakaiki. Paddle up a river canyon with towering cliffs and luxuriantpalm tree groves.
BARRYTOWN KNIFE MAKING
Come and make a knife in our backyard – you’ll amaze yourself!
You get to forge your own blade from red hot steel, and complete your knife with a native timber handle, brass bolsters and pins. Other free activities include axe throwing, target practice and a huge swing. Lunch is provided, usually toasted sandwiches.
Truman Track is a walk through unspoiled subtropical forest where podocarp and rātā trees tower above thickets of vine and nīkau palms.
The track emerges on a spectacular coastline with cliffs, caverns, a blowhole and a waterfall that plummets straight onto a rock-strewn beach. Get spectacular coastal views from a viewing platform. A stairway provides access to the beach.
PAPAROA GREAT WALK
Paparoa Track crosses the Paparoa Range. It takes you through alpine tops, limestone karst landscapes and thriving rainforests, and provides breath-taking views. Sit back and enjoy in incredible sunsets over the Tasman Sea from the Moonlight Tops Hut. Follow in the footsteps of gold miners on the historic Croesus Track. Take a side trip to Garden Gully to see gold-mining remains. Enjoy the stunning views. You’ll spot the Lone Hand rock formation on the way to Pororari Hut.