Tourism West Coast - Pancake Rocks (8).jpg Tourism West Coast - Pancake Rocks (8).jpg

Punakaiki

The Great Coast Road

The Great Coast Road is one of the Top 10 Coastal Drives in the world.

Westport
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One of top 10 coastal drives in the world

The Great Coast Road is one of the Top 10 Coastal Drives in the world according to Lonely Planet and we just use it for our everyday travel!

It takes you alongside the ancient limestone cliffs of Paparoa National Park and is home to the world's smallest penguin.

Along the way, experience underground rafting at Charleston, caving at Fox River and you won't want to miss the famous Pancake Rocks and Blowholes at Punakaiki.

The Great Coast Road (which takes 90 minutes at a full speed, we recommend you slow down and enjoy it) traverses Charleston, Fox River, Punakaiki, Barrytown, Rapahoe and Runanga on its way from Westport to Greymouth.

Check the weather in Punakaiki on yr.no

Getting to Punakaiki

Find out time and distance from Punakaiki to other locations:


You found a Christmas tree

Well done, you have found one of our hidden Christmas trees!

You can enter our Christmas competition for a chance to win a trip to the West Coast

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Places to visit on The Great Coast Road


Between Charleston and Fox River

Charleston is not far south of Westport and once boasted a gold mining population of 5,000 and more pubs than permanent houses.

The village is now better known for its extensive limestone caves and the Nile River.

The sheltered beach at Constant Bay is a great place to picnic with the kids and the walks to Constant and Joyce Bays give great coastal views.

For the adventurous, there are guided caving tours from eco-tours into a glowworm cave to full on adventure caving.

The Tiropahi Tram mountain bike track is a great mixed grade ride and the Tiropahi Walk visits an old bush tramway. Charleston is also a place for those who like rock climbing with routes bolted on the cliff faces.

To Learn about Charleston history, visit the Mitchells Gully Gold Mine or the two pioneer cemeteries. Or you can read more about the many historical sites on the West Coast.

Fox River is north of Punakaiki and is the start of a very interesting track to the Fox River Cave and the impressive Ballroom Overhang. Take a torch for the caves.

Two historic places of interest at Fox River are the Fox River Bridge and Te Ana o Matuka, a sea cave occupied by early travelers.


Punakaiki

Punakaiki is a small village located near Paparoa National Park and home to the world famous Pancake Rocks. The 20 minute loop track to Dolomite Point gives the best views of the 30 million year old limestone formations.

There are many artists that have been attracted to the wild coast. There is a cafe, pub, dining and accommodation in Punakaiki

Just to the north of Punakaiki it is worth stopping to do the easy (30 minutes return) Truman Track that meanders through native bush to the beach giving you a close up view of limestone rock formations.

The impressive blowholes are at their best at high tide – ask at the Paparoa National Park i-SITE about the tide times.

There are several other walks in the Punakaiki area and Paparoa National Park. The Pororari River Walk can take from 15 minutes to 2-hours depending on how far you go.

It follows a spectacular limestone gorge or you can continue along a portion of the Inland Pack Track to do a 3-hour loop back to Punakaiki.


Barrytown

Barrytown was once a centre for flax harvesting but its claim to fame these days is knife-making.

Over a day you can make your own hand forged knife from red-hot steel and native timber – no experience needed!

This unique activity gets rave reviews so it is not-to-miss!

Rapahoe is a small coastal settlement on the edge of a truly picturesque beach. You can access one end of thePoint Elizabeth Walk from here.

The 2-hour walk has great views of the coastline and a large section follows an old goldmining water-race.

For other scenic walks see the best walking and hiking tracks on the West Coast.


Runanga

Runanga is where the roots of West Coast coal mining run deep.

The Coal Creek Falls Walkway leads to a gorgeous fan waterfall with a great pool.

Or if you have a taste for mud, think about stopping for Off road biking, go karting or a Haglund ride

The Miners Hall here is a well known historic place in Runanga and worth a stop.

Events

Events

Cecil-Turbine.JPG
18 January 2020
Punakaiki
Cecil Turbine + Jane McArthur Band - Barrytown

All the way from Melbourne, Australia, Cecil Turbine and Jane McArthur Band will perform in Barrytown on 18 January 2020.

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See, do & stay

Punakaiki
Accommodation
Punakaiki Beach Camp Punakaiki Beach Camp

Private setting adjoining the Paparoa National Park in Punakaiki.

$17 - $20
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Punakaiki
See & Do
Group Volunteers w Kurt.JPG Punakaiki Coastal Restoration Project

Book in to support and volunteer at our Punakaiki Coastal Restoration Project with Conservation Volunteers New Zealand. With your help, we are restoring the Sand Plain Forest and planting 170,000 trees on 75 hectares.

FREE ACTIVITY
Learn more
Punakaiki
See & Do
Punakaiki Canoes 1.jpg Punakaiki Canoes

Take a leisurely paddle on the Pororari River beneath towering limestone cliffs in the Paparoa National Park.

Adults - $45pp
Children - $15
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Punakaiki
Towns, Places & Info centres
Paparoa National Park Department of Conservation Visitor Centre Paparoa National Park Department of Conservation Visitor Centre

Call in and see what Punakaiki and the Paparoa National Park has to offer.

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Punakaiki
See & Do
Paparoa Track Paparoa National Park

Paparoa National Park features coastal forest along a spectacular coastline.

FREE
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Punakaiki
See & Do
Underworld Rafting Underworld Adventures

Underworld Rafting: Is a “Cave Rafting Adventure” in the Paparoa National Park. Located in Charleston.

$185
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