Punakaiki Pancake Rocks & Blowholes
What you need to know
The Punakaiki area of the West Coast along the coastline is striking and ruggedly beautiful like much of the rest of the region, however what sets it apart in its own right are its Pancake Rocks and blowholes at Dolomite Point. Accessible via a well-maintained walkway that loops from the main road, the area is home to giant cliffs and boulders amongst a turbulent and roiling coastline that is highly active – particularly at high tide.
The most prominent features are the Pancake Rocks, which are exactly what their name suggests; large stacks of limestone formed gradually by the wind and water over the years resembling a stack of pancakes. Further along, the walk is made all the more dramatic by its blowholes of salt water from the Tasman Sea that surges up a narrow channel then spouts high into the air, spraying their voluminous contents dozens of metres above sea level.
Offering impressive coastal views out to the point to the north and as far as Mount Cook to the south on clear days throughout its course, the walk only takes around 20 minutes worth of pure walking, however since you'll likely want to pause at a number of points along the way to grab photos it's best to allow around 45 minutes return.
- Dolomite Point, Punakaiki
- 1.1 kilometre loop
- 20 minute journey
- Easy grade trail
- Wheelchair accessible
- No dogs allowed