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Pancake Rocks

Drive along the Great Coast Road to reach these unusual rock formations, the product of 30 million years of natural moulding.

If you plan a trip along New Zealand’s famous Great Coast Road you will no doubt hear about Punakaiki’s Pancake Rocks, as they are one of the most popular sites on the coast. The rocks are a fascinating collection of limestone formations, formed over 30 millions years on the ocean floor. Marine creatures, sand and shells make up the hard rocks, which were compounded under the pressure of the Tasman Sea before New Zealand’s volcanic activity lifted them to above the surface. Visit Pancake Rocks and walk through the deep crevices in the stone, see powerful waves explode through blowholes and watch a stunning sunset.

From the car park on the side of the Great Coast Road it’s just a 20-minute round trip to reach Pancake Rocks. Follow the wheelchair friendly trail to reach the water’s edge for sweeping views of the Tasman Sea and the Pancake Rocks. Gaze across the stacks of rocks to see the water beyond before you follow the trails that lead between the crevices to get close to the compounded rock and see the patterns in the outer shell.

Check the tidal times before venturing to Pancake Rocks, as the blowholes are most impressive on a full tide. Watch as powerful waves careen towards the rock formations, shooting a turret of water through the naturally formed blowholes.

Stick around to watch a classic west coast sunset. The Pancake Rocks are a popular destination for sunset seekers and offer excellent photo opportunities.

The Pancake Rocks are located within the Paparoa National Park, just outside the town of Punakaiki. Drive through the national park along State Highway 6 to reach the roadside car park. There are no fees to visit the rocks.


Map

Top Pancake Rocks Hotel & Accommodation Deals

See all 98 properties near Pancake Rocks
Punakaiki Resort NZ$299
Punakaiki Resort

Punakaiki Resort

State Highway 6, Punakaiki
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated near the beach, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Paparoa National Park and Pancake Rocks. Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes and Punakaiki Beach are also within 15 minutes.

    Punakaiki Beachfront Motels NZ$180
    Punakaiki Beachfront Motels

    Punakaiki Beachfront Motels

    Mabel St (CMB 66), Punakaiki
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated near the beach, this cabin is within a 10-minute walk of Punakaiki Beach and Pororari River Track. Pancake Rocks and Truman Track are also within 1 mile (2 km).

      Te Hui House
      Te Hui House

      Te Hui House

      11 Owen Street, Punakaiki
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated by the ocean, this guesthouse is within a 5-minute walk of Punakaiki Beach and Pororari River Track. Pancake Rocks and Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes are also within 1 mi (2 km).

        Te Nikau Retreat NZ$80
        Te Nikau Retreat

        Te Nikau Retreat

        19 Hartmount Place, Punakaiki
           
          2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Offering direct access to the beach, this Punakaiki hostel is in a national park and within a 5-minute walk of Paparoa National Park and Truman Track. Punakaiki Beach and Pororari River Track are also within 1 mile (2 km).

          Punakaiki Beach Hostel
          Punakaiki Beach Hostel

          Punakaiki Beach Hostel

          2 Webb Street, Punakaiki
             
            2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Offering direct access to the beach, this Punakaiki hostel is within a 5-minute walk of Punakaiki Beach and Paparoa National Park. Pancake Rocks and Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes are also within 1 mile (2 km).

            Punakaiki Beach Camp NZ$110
            Punakaiki Beach Camp

            Punakaiki Beach Camp

            5 Owen Street, Punakaiki
               
              2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated on the beach, this hostal is steps from Punakaiki Beach and Paparoa National Park. Pororari River Track and Pancake Rocks are also within 1 mi (2 km).

              Hide and Seek NZ$355
              Hide and Seek

              Hide and Seek

              3316 Coast Road, RD1, Runanga, Punakaiki
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated by the ocean, this bed & breakfast is 2.7 mi (4.4 km) from Paparoa National Park and within 6 miles (10 km) of Pancake Rocks and Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Punakaiki Beach and Pororari River Track are also within 9 miles (15 km).

                Rataview Accommodation NZ$180
                Rataview Accommodation

                Rataview Accommodation

                2626 State Highway 6, Coast Road, Barrytown
                   
                  2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Barrytown, this guesthouse is 3.2 mi (5.1 km) from Paparoa National Park and within 12 miles (20 km) of Rapahoe Beach and Pancake Rocks. Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes and Punakaiki Beach are also within 12 miles (20 km).