Strange but beautiful, the Pancake Rocks are an extremely popular tourist attraction on the West Coast of New Zealand. This is a must-see sight for those travelling along the coast. By Shrimayee Thakur
Layered like giant stacks of pancakes, this heavily eroded limestone area is on Dolomite Point, near Punakaiki, a village on the South Island of New Zealand, between Westport and Greymouth. The foundations of these rocks were formed 30 million years ago, with dead marine creatures and plants landing on the seabed, and then being subjected to immense pressure from the water. This caused them to solidify into alternating hard and soft layers of limestone. The structure was lifted above sea level by seismic activity, where, over time, the softer layers were eroded by mildly acidic rain, wind, and sea, leaving behind a structure made of the harder layers of limestone, resembling pancakes.
The curious structure of the rocks is not the only impressive thing to observe at the Pancake Rocks. Another reason they are so popular is due to the presence of blowholes, where the Tasman sea bursts through with fine mists and a loud whoosh at high tide, in an awe-inspiring display of nature’s fearsome power. The waters churn angrily in the surge pool, aptly named the Devil’s Cauldron, rising higher with the tides and swirling around the ‘cauldron’. Visitors who want to see this spectacle for themselves should time their visit with the high tides, the times for which are available at the local Department of Conservation’s visitor center. While the Pancake Rocks are interesting to look at even when the tide is out, the spectacular display of the blowholes is definitely worth seeing.
View this post on Instagram
Einen schönen Abend für euch!!!???? . . . . . . . #welltravelled #bestoftheday #instadaily #wanderlust #hdr #naturephotography #natur #nature_perfection #wald #neuseeland #hiking #meer #ichwillmeer #pancakerocks #nz #sky #travel #landschaftsfotografie #naturlandschaft #landscape #fotografie #hobbyfotografie #hamburgmeineperle #outdoor #camping #natgeo #wildlife #fantastic_earthpix #fiftyshades_of_nature #ourplanetdaily
Lucky visitors might even catch a glimpse of Hector’s dolphins playing near the shore. These dolphins, the smallest and rarest species of marine dolphins in the world, are only found around the South Island of New Zealand.
The Pancake Rocks are a part of the Paparoa National Park, and are easily accessible via the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk. Apart from an optional section with steps, the rest of the walk is wheelchair-accessible. There is even a Pancake Rocks Café nearby, serving edible pancake stacks to satiate any cravings that might arise after a day at the Pancake Rocks.