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Tuesday, 12 December 2006
Punakaiki - Pancake Rocks

Today, we are making a stop at Punakaiki which is situated on one of the most beautiful coastal roads in New Zealand, half way between Westport and Greymouth. Punakaiki is best known for its spectacular Pancake Rocks.

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These rock formations look like pancakes because of the regular horizontal layers. The geologists advanced a few theories on how those layers formed. During the undersea formation of these limestone rocks, some sort of anomaly caused them to be softer/denser in layers so that when weathered by waves and wind they start to look like pancakes.

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Underneath, several sea caves continue to erode the limestone, creating a maze that often leads to a few blowholes. We are lucky today as the ocean is rough enough to make the blowholes work: we can see the waves funneling up towards the blowholes (as if you were opening a bottle of beer after shaking it ;-).

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This place is typical of the West Coast's Paparoa National Park: spectacular and profound landscape, rugged cliffs, impressive seas, huge waves, tropical rain forests... beautiful and inspiring! We stayed a day there, and would have definitely stayed one more day if we had had time...

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 31 December 2006 )
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