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Punakaiki
Travel Guide

Overlooking the South Island’s remote West Coast, this friendly town is the ideal base for exploring the beaches, rivers and limestone formations of the area.

Conveniently located on State Highway 6, the only road traversing New Zealand’s South Island’s rugged west coast, the small town of Punakaiki is a popular base for those wanting to explore the nature splendour of the area. Experience warm South Island hospitality as you dine with locals in the town’s restaurants, make friends over a pint at the tavern or discover information about the nearby Paparoa National Park. Find tour operators to take you by canoe up the Pororari River, join resident astronomers to gaze at the night sky or watch as local artists share their skills in a craft workshop.

Punakaiki’s location on the South Island’s west coast means that it receives significant rainfall year-round. While you may need to bring a raincoat, it’s the wild weather that has shaped this part of the country and what continues to define its activities. Watch as crashing waves explode through naturally formed blowholes and explore the winding crevices of the famous Pancake Rocks. These fascinating limestone formations were formed over millennia and are the major attraction of the region.

When the sun is shining you’ll find the locals swimming at Rapahoe Beach, just a short drive from Punakaiki. If you want to investigate a little further, sign up for a canoe trip to venture along the Pororari River to the natural lagoons of Punakaiki’s hinterland. Visit the Paparoa National Park Visitor Centre to pick up maps and information about the national park on Punakaiki’s doorstep.

The town centre offers plenty of dining options, with friendly taverns serving counter meals by night and cafés offering coffee and light lunches during the day.

Punakaiki is located approximately 4 hours’ drive from Christchurch where you will find the nearest international airport or just 40 minutes from Greymouth. Make the town a stop on your scenic journey along the South Island’s west coast.

Punakaiki Resort
Punakaiki Resort
4 out of 5
State Highway 6, Punakaiki
The price is NZ$156 per night from 5 Apr. to 6 Apr.

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 ...

4.1/5Very Good! (489 reviews)

"Amazing place. Staff wonderful. View tricky to beat."…"

Reviewed on 19 Feb. 2021

Punakaiki Resort
Punakaiki Beachfront Motels
Punakaiki Beachfront Motels
3 out of 5
56 Punakaiki Road, Punakaiki
The price is NZ$140 per night from 2 Apr. to 3 Apr.

Situated in Punakaiki, this beach motel is within a 10-minute walk of Punakaiki Beach and Pororari River Track. Pancake Rocks and Underworld Adventures are also ...

4.2/5Excellent! (137 reviews)
3 generations stay

"Great location. Overall I would stay again. Few little things need a small amount of attention, mosquitoes dead in window sills, no cover on one light switch, frying pan not no stick."…"

Reviewed on 30 Aug. 2020

Punakaiki Beachfront Motels
Punakaiki Beach Camp
Punakaiki Beach Camp
2 out of 5
5 Owen Street, Punakaiki
The price is NZ$82 per night from 11 Mar. to 12 Mar.

Situated on the beach, this campsite is steps away from Punakaiki Beach and Paparoa National Park. Pororari River Track and Pancake Rocks are also within 1 mile ...

4/5Very Good! (1 review)

"I loved the location, a common green area and the friendly people."…"

Reviewed on 8 Jan. 2021

Punakaiki Beach Camp
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Punakaiki Beach Camp
Punakaiki Beach Camp
2 out of 5
5 Owen Street, Punakaiki
The price is NZ$82 per night from 11 Mar. to 12 Mar.

Situated on the beach, this campsite is steps away from Punakaiki Beach and Paparoa National Park. Pororari River Track and Pancake Rocks are also within 1 mile ...

4/5Very Good! (1 review)

"I loved the location, a common green area and the friendly people."…"

Reviewed on 8 Jan. 2021

Punakaiki Beach Camp
Punakaiki River Cottage
Punakaiki River Cottage
State Highway 6, RD 1 Runanga, Punakaiki, West Coast
The price is NZ$146 per night from 14 Mar. to 15 Mar.

Situated in Punakaiki, this cottage is steps away from Paparoa National Park and Pororari River Track. Punakaiki Beach and Pancake Rocks are also within 1 mile ...

3.9/5Good! (8 reviews)
good old classic kiwi batch

"Loved the place as it is one of the few remaining real kiwi batches. One of these that get put together with any bits from the shed. However I found it cozy but still got good wifi and tv. signal, just in case it rains. Beautiful location with a bit of dust in far away places and the odd wee spider ..."…"

Reviewed on 4 Mar. 2021

Punakaiki River Cottage
Woodpecker Bay Bach ~ Life on the Edge
Woodpecker Bay Bach ~ Life on the Edge
5897 State Highway 6, Punakaiki, West Coast

Situated on the beach, this romantic holiday home is within 1 mile (2 km) of Paparoa National Park, Pancake Rocks and Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. ...

5/5Exceptional! (55 reviews)
Perfect bach holiday

"A fantastic wee bach in a fantastic location. Cute, quaint, and perfect. Like everyone, probably, we left wishing we could have stayed longer and vowing we'd come back. Thanks Daniel."…"

Reviewed on 23 Feb. 2021

Woodpecker Bay Bach ~ Life on the Edge
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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