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“Nice round walkway with great views to the rocks”

Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk
Ranked #1 of 9 things to do in Punakaiki
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Reviewed February 11, 2014

From the carpark opposite the street you do a nice 45 min walk until you come back to the carpark, which offers you stunning views not only to the pancake rocks, but also to the coast and the coastline. This walkway is not recommended for strollers/prams as it has some stairs in the later part, which are steep.

Thank cdickgre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,085 - 1,089 of 1,691 reviews

Reviewed February 11, 2014

We stopped in Punakaiki along our way to the Franz Joseph Glacier. As we wound our way along the North side of the South Island from Nelson the view of the ocean was the first thing that greeted us along the Western coast. And it was impressive. We pulled over immediately. Giant cliffs and boulders nestled in along a turbulent and roiling coastline. For someone from Florida, this sight was beyond my own imagination. We stopped to take some photos, stretch our legs and get some fresh air. In fact, we didn't expect to see anything else along our way and were in awe of the scenery as it was.

We arrived at our accommodations in Punakaiki just a short while after reaching the coast and decided to grab a bite to eat and something to drink at the local (and nearly only) eatery. Nearby the isite, we decided to take a stroll over to see these "Pancake Rocks" and "blow hole" and boy did we win the lottery. It was a day of rough seas and we also must have hit it spot on for high tide. Things were really churning and that really made the pancake rocks rather impressive. Viewing them static, in a photo or postcard does them absolutely no justice. And sure, the way the sedimentary rock has eroded away (making pancakes it were) is unique, however, watching the water storm through the formations and crash, foam, and roil is really a treat.

The blowhole is equally impressive and unique... you watch the water surge up along a narrow channel and then spout up through a hole in the rockwall at the top. It's beautiful, it's impressive and on a good day, I'm certain it's worth elbowing and posturing for the best position. Yes, it's a crowded spot at the right time of day, but I didn't find the crowds pushy or rude. Everyone moves along at a reasonable pace, soaking in the views and moving onto the next vista. You'll have plenty of opportunity to try your hand as a photographer, grabbing your best shots, before you, too, want to see what's around the next bend.

Notably, this is also the only area in town that has a cellular connection for data or voice, so snap your pics and post 'em to instagram while you can. Waiting until you get to dinner or back to your accommodations is too late. :)

So, if you're interested in seeing just what nature can assemble and wow you with, by all means, check this place out. I'm glad we sort of accidentally stumbled into it and especially glad that we caught it on a particularly choppy water day. Without those waves, it may not have been as impressive. If you leave disappointed, try coming back at high tide at least.

2  Thank dbannie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2014

Blowholes were not working well as tide was low and waves were small. We saw a Waka bird as we walked along - the tourist buses draw in alongside the café and entrance - I suspect it could get busy at times

Thank AScottyP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2014

We went at high tide as suggested evening & morning and unfortunately nothing doing, no spectacular blow in fact no blow at all but that is nature and it was well worth looking at the rock formations anyway and the scenery around is breath taking. Bought postcards in the T,I, shop over the road!!
Remember to look up high tide times for any chance of a blow,

Thank BigDen55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2014

The rocks are fascinating to see, so much more interesting to actually see them than look at pictures. Its interesting to see how the ocean fills into the rocks creating blow holes. I think it is worth stopping to see if it is on your route of travel.

Thank Amy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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