The more we travelled around New Zealand the more it seemed like New Zealand has all the coolest rock formations. Starting with cliffs, and blowholes on the beach, pinnacles and rock that looks like elephant. So there's no wonder they even have Pancake Rocks or Punakaiki.
And true to it's name, they really looks like piles of huge, rock pancakes.
Before we reached the famous rocks, we made a pit stop at the beach, just to look for nice looking pebbles or even a greenstone. Of course it's not that easy to find greenstones, but sometimes you can get lucky even in places that are not announced as one of those famos "where to find greenstones" kind of spots. And also, I just really like to collect nice looking pebbles. :D And there are a lot of them in New Zealand.
Punakaiki is a small community on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, between Westport and Greymouth.
It lies on the edge of the Paparoa National Park.The pancake rocks in Punakaiki are the most visited natural attraction on the West Coast, so be aware of tourist crowds. They are there no matter the season or weather. This is a nice walk around the curious limestone formations of pancake rocks and blowholes, also accesible by wheelchair in most parts.
It is said that foundations of the Pancake Rocks were formed 30 million years ago when fragments of dead marine creatures and plants landed on the seabed about 2 km below the surface. 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. Although this explanation sounds really good, the formation of the rocks is still a bit of a mystery to everyone.
This is a quick stop and don't take a lot of time or effort to see the rock formations. So there is no reason to skip this place as it is very close to the main road.