Driving from Greymouth to Punakaiki was an easy drive of 30 minutes on State Highway 6. Just before reaching the visitor center of Paparoa National Park, we began to see protruding rocks emerging from the sea surface.
There are lots of activities you can do at the Paparoa National Park, including caving, canoeing, but the most famous would be taking the short walk along the sea-coast to see the pancake rocks and the blow holes.
The formation of these rocks started 30 million years ago. Minerals from marine creatures were compressed under tremendous pressure in the sea, forming sand stone. These sand stone in an unknown process, is deposited btween limestone layers, creating the “pancake” effect. The formation process is also known as “stylobedding”.
A few obvious attractions along this short walk would be the chimney pot, the putai, the surge pool and the weird rock formations at the end of the walk. At the chimney pot, sprays of mist-like water emerge from the water beneath. The effect is similar to spraying body mist, just with much bigger water droplets.
Be sure to check out the Putai, or the largest blowhole in the ares, where water shoots up from the sea underneath.
Part of the fun is the wait for the water to shoot up. You hear the waves splashing on the rocks, but you don’t see anything.
After a few more splashes, and here it is!
The surge pool is a great place to see forces of nature, where the strong waves splash heavily against the rock walls.
Funny rock formations in shapes of sea animals and a chieftain’s profile.
We saw some weka birds hanging around the visitor’s center and decided to take our self-prepared lunch in their companion. The birds were friendly. I think they tried to make friends with us, but with the intention of trying to steal our food !
Address: Paparoa National Park Visitor Centre.,Main Road, Punakaiki, New Zealand. Accessible by State Highway 6.
Tel: +643 731 1895
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