BUG New Zealand travel guidebook
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BUG New Zealand travel guidebook

Destination guides > Pacific Islands > New Zealand > West Coast > Punakaiki


Punakaiki is located in the coastal forests of Paparoa National Park halfway between Greymouth and Westport on a scenic portion of State Highway 6 – one of the most scenic drives on the island. Punakaiki really only consists of scattered residences, hotels, restaurants and a few hostels set around the famed Pancake Rocks and blowholes. The Pancake Rocks are the jewel of the limestone country, unique rock formations that are a must-see for most visitors. On a day with rough seas, the blowholes are a sight to behold. There are some great walking trails in the park, most notably the Punakaiki Cavern Track and the Truman Track. Other activities include canoeing, horse trekking and caving, and there are guided tours available from the visitor’s centre.

Practical information

Punakaiki DOC Field Centre

Paparoa National Park
Tel (03) 731 1895
Website www.doc.govt.nz
Open Jan-Mar 9am-6pm daily; Apr-Oct 9am-4.30pm daily; Nov-Dec 9am-6pm daily

Coming & going

Atomic Shuttles (tel (03) 349 0697), InterCity Coachlines (tel (03) 365 1113) and Southern Link K Bus (tel (03) 358 8355 or 0508 458 835) stop in Charleston en route between Greymouth and Nelson. Buses stop at the Punakaiki Rocks Hotel and also outside the Wild Coast Café.

Hostel accommodation

Punakaiki Beach Hostel

Webb Street, Punakaiki
Tel (03) 731 1852

Te Nikau Retreat (YHA Punakaiki)

Harmount Place, Punakaiki
Tel (03) 731 1111

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