West coast

Capture and share picture-perfect Punakaiki by video

Punakaiki’s Pancake Rocks are the most visited natural attraction on the West Coast, so the opportunities for Insta-friendly photos or widely shareable videos are here in force.

Lucy Wyndham

July 18, 2019


Taking Photos at Punakaiki.JPG

As today’s travelers put the pursuit of social media-friendly, naturally beautiful locations among their top considerations when planning a trip, the West Coast of New Zealand is bursting with options.

Punakaiki’s Pancake Rocks, for example, are the most visited natural attraction in this area; whether you’re waiting for that perfectly timed blowhole spray or are lucky enough to catch nearby dolphins at play, the opportunities for Insta-friendly photos or widely shareable videos are here in force.

So what’s the best way to make and share footage that captures the area’s natural beauty in all its splendour?

Prepping for an effective shoot

If you’re setting out to capture the perfect shot, preparation is key.

Obviously you will need your video camera, GoPro or good quality phone, plus a charger or battery pack and back up memory card.

Wear comfortable clothing so you can move freely; whether you’re hiking or horse trekking into Punakaiki Valley, you want to be able to keep up with the action.

Read up or speak to a guide about the best times of day to capture stunning light or see animals in action; for example, high tide is the best time to see blowholes at Pancake Rocks.

Most importantly, stay safe:

  • Wear sunscreen,
  • Tell people where you’re going.
  • Adhere to any warnings.

Sharing your footage

Whether you’re planning to share your West Coast videos with friends and family via WhatsApp, or building content for your own YouTube channel, there are a few things to remember for effective, shareable footage.

For WhatsApping, file sizes should ideally be smaller, since no-one will thank you for clogging up their phone storage.

For YouTube, you can get more ambitious. Over 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, so for yours to cut through it must be well sign posted and worth watching, whether that’s adorable footage of the world’s smallest penguin or simply stunning views from the Paparoa Track.

Analyze the data on your existing content, and think carefully about effective keywords, video length and prompts to optimise the chances of your video being watched and shared among fellow travel and nature lovers.

The pick of Punakaiki

So your bags are packed and you know the type of footage you’re after. Now’s the fun bit: choosing where to film.

Aside from the possibilities of Dolomite Point’s blowholes and the charming dolphins near Pancake Rocks, you can also spot beautiful birds along the beach and Pororari River.

Paparoa National Park or the Truman Track to the north of Punakaiki offer stunning coastal beauty, with limestone cliffs, canyons, caves, and underground streams to explore.

There are also plenty of opportunities for unusual vantage points, too. Why not film from a canoe or on horseback?

With so much to see and do in Punakaiki, capturing your memories on film is a must.

How you plan to share them will inform the quantity and quality of the footage you take, so give this some thought before you go.

Finally, watch as the area’s natural beauty unfolds before you; Punakaiki is always ready for its close up.