Pancake Rocks

Amazing landforms

These amazing ‘pancake-stack’ rock formations and bursting blowholes are the most impressive natural wonders and popular tourist attractions on the West Coast.

The Pancake Rocks and Blowholes at Dolomite Point in Punakaiki, near the Paparoa National Park are the most visited natural attraction on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand.

The limestone foundations of the Pancake Rocks, formed about 30 million years ago were from the fragments of dead marine creatures and plants which landed on the seabed about 2 km below the surface. Immense water pressure caused the fragments to solidify in hard and soft layers. Gradually seismic action lifted the limestone above the seabed where water, wind and sea sculpted the unique pancake rock formations. Around high tide, the ocean swells into the caverns beneath the rocks and blasts the water high up into the air through the blowholes.

Visit the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes by taking the picturesque, easy Pancake Rocks Track right in the centre of Punakaiki. Most of the track is wheel chair accessible and walking the whole track takes less than an hour. The best time to visit is at high tide to see the blowholes in full force.

Recommended Visit:
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Dolomite Point
Putai Area


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