Punakaiki Travel Blog› entry 4 of 13 › view all entries
From Arthur's Pass we drove through Greymouth and up the west coast to Punakaiki. It was overcast and raining while we were on the road. The west coast is affectionately known as the "wet coast". It rains 180 days a year (1 out of every 2 days) and some spots measure annual rain fall by the tens of feet not inches.
First stop was the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. The Pancake Rocks are what Punakaiki is known for. They are eroded limestone of alternating hard and soft layers that form shapes that look like stacks of pancakes. The main stopping point to view these rocks has walkways along the shore and around the blowholes, which only blow when conditions are right. There are a couple of craft shops, cafes and a visitor center at this location. However, Pancake Rocks can be found all along the Punakaiki coast. I saw some of the best looking examples at our hotel, the Punakaiki Resort.
That night we had dinner at Punakaiki Resort's Waterline Restaurant. Dessert was our first exposure to Pavlova, a meringue that both New Zealand and Australia claim as their national dessert and debate about which country originated the dessert.