Pancake Rocks And Blowholes – Dolomite Point – Punakaiki, New Zealand

Today we said goodbye to the East Coast (for now) and made the long journey over to the West Coast. This area is where some of New Zealand’s most stunning, yet remote sights can be found. It was a long day in the car with few stops; 6 hours of driving in total. After driving through what seemed to be an endless forest, the drive changed into a scenic, winding road along the cliffs of the coast. There were enough sharp turns taken just a little too quickly to keep Christine’s hand on the “oh shit” handle most of the afternoon. We had heard of a must-see geological phenomenon known only as the “Pancake Rocks and Blowholes” along the way, so we decided to stop off here and stretch our legs out. What we found was quite impressive. Millions of years ago, alternating layers of limestone and dead sea creatures compressed; over the time since then, the crashing waves of the West Coast have eroded bits of the dead sea creature layers to form what appear to be stacks of rock pancakes. As if that wasn’t enough, the crashing waves of the West Coast have also blasted holes in the rock stacks, forming what are known as blowholes.  When large enough waves come in at a high enough tide, water spouts through the holes, looking and sounding exactly like the blowhole of a whale.  We were fortunate enough to be there at high tide and witness some impressive spouting!  This picture is of Christine looking not so impressed with one of the smaller spouts.