Punakaiki was my 3rd stop during my NZ trip after Mouteka, and Westport. Well didn’t count Nelson as I was in Nelson about 2 weeks before really starting my trip.
As I can remember, this place was not on my list actually, where I already booked other bus trip tickets. But when I was in Wesport, I met one Kiwi guy that travel South Island with his bike and told me about this Pancake Rocks and Blowholes that sound interesting to visit. So, since the bus trip ticket can still be changed, so here I am.
To actually view this Pancake Rocks and Blowholes is actually depends on the tide of the water. Before we went there, we already checked for the time and also estimated time to be there.
Here are little bit about the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes.
The Pancake Rocks that Punakaiki is famous for, are limestone formations that began forming 30 million years ago, when lime-rich fragments of dead marine creatures were deposited on the seabed, then overlaid by weaker layers of soft mud and clay.
The seabed was raised above sealevel by earthquakes to form the coastal cliffs and coastline. The sea, wind and rain have since etched out the soft layers to form the unusual rock formations we see today.
When conditions are right, heavy ocean swells thunder into the caverns beneath the rocks and huge water spouts blast skywards through the blowholes in a truly spectacular sight.
I managed to see that with the rainbow appear when the water hit the rocks and we also lucky to see a dolphin too!
At night, a few of us walked to Punakaiki Cavern to look for glowworm. We managed to see it in there (and free) but didn’t manage to take a picture of it. As it need a very special camera and we only have mobile phone and also normal digital camera. You are advised to prepare your torch light or head light before going there as the cave are very dark. Or else you will stumble or knock your head.
The Punakaiki Cavern is a Karst cave, formed with a combination of water and carbon dioxide, carving out the cave from the Oligocene limestone. The Punakaiki cave also features glow worms and stalactites.
Punakaiki Caves Walk
Location: West Coast of the South Island
Length of Walk: 0.05kms
Difficulty: Very Easy
Time Needed: 1 minute
The floor of the caves can be slippery.
The Punakaiki Cavern is a Karst cave, formed with a combination of water and carbon dioxide, carving out the cave from the Oligocene limestone. Well worth a look around. The cavern also features glow worms and stalactites.
- Punakaiki Caves Walk – start
Park the car on the right hand side of the road. The entrance is easy to find. You walk down in to the hidden rain forest. Then up the stair case to the entrance of the cave.
You need to make your way to the left there is a marker to follow.
Watch the slippery floor at the beginning.
The next day before leaving as I only stayed for a night, me and one girl we met here, went for Truman Track Walk. It is just a short walk and photos! Well I love doing walk in New Zealand as it is well maintained and will try to do it at almost to all my trips.
The track begins in the beautiful sub-tropical rain forest
Truman Track Walk
Location: South Island NZ
Length of Walk: 0.60kms
Time Needed: 1 Hour
The track begins in the beautiful sub-tropical rain forest of ferns, nikau palms, rimu, etc. Nearing the coast you pass through typical West Coast coastal flax flats before emerging onto a coastal headland with stunning views up and down the local coastline.
A stairway leads down on the north side of the headland to a fine gravel beach featuring cliffs, caves, a waterfall and amazing rock formations.
The beach is accessible at low tide where you can walk north and further explore the rugged coastline.
Allow approximately an hour return, to fully explore the track and the beach.
Punakaiki Beach Hostel & Te Hui House
Telephone: 03 731 1852
Address: 4 Webb Street, Punakaiki
Postal: CMB 31, Punakaiki, RD 1 Runanga 7873
Met a few girls from here which bring us travel together in a few places. Since the stop are quite the same and mostly the accommodation we booked also almost same and/or nearby.