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Charleston & Punakaiki Pancake Rocks

West Coast, South Island

Pancake Rocks is easily accessible from SH6. The walk explores the odd limestone stacked coastal rock landscape of Punakaiki. There are blowholes with the roar of suppressed water energy creating dramatic moments as the force of water surges upwards into a fountain of seawater. The largely flat boardwalk is mostly wheelchair accessible.  Spectacular views, geological oddities, coastal forest, rich birdlife and marine mammals are highlights along this walk. For details what to do and see check out Guide to Charleston, Paparoa National Park what to do and see.

Charleston and underground caves

LOCATION: Charleston is a settlement nestled in Constant Bay

Charleston is a former gold mining town, now a hub for adventure tourism. The town sprung into existence after the discovery of gold (1867). The nearby Paparoa National Park offers extensive limestone caves for glowworm excursions, cave exploration and caving expeditions. The Pororari River is a great introduction to kayaking for the family and there are walks for all fitness levels.


Charleston and Paparoa National Park are located on State Highway 6. The easiest method of transport is private vehicles. There are regular day trips from either Westport or Greymouth however you are limited to what you do and see.

Punakaiki Pancake Rocks in Paparoa National Park, West Coast, South Island, New Zealand
Punakaiki Pancake Rocks in Paparoa National Park, West Coast


  • Explore Paparoa National Park with Underworth Adventures from Nile River Canyon bush train to Glowworm tour
  • Te Ananui (Metro) Cave system exploration
  • Explore Punakaiki (Pancake) Rocks walking tracks
  • Paparoa National Park’s Pororari River, kayaking for all fitness levels and family groups with Punakaiki Canoes
  • Leisurely explore Paparoa’s coastal tracks along Pororari River


Blowholes are at their best around high tide when there is a south-westerly swell.

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