Punakaiki (Pancake) Rocks
Paparoa National Park - Known for its Pancakes. These fascinating limestone formations put on a spectacular spouting display in certain sea conditions. The eroded rock layers look like stacks of pancakes. Water is forced by the waves into small holes, where it blows upward, making tiny geysers. The effect is best during stormy weather. The coastal promontory of the Pancake Rocks is looped by an easy walking track.
"I would encourage visitors."
Greymouth is the main town on the West Coast and is a convenient stepping off point to many wonderful sights up and down The Coast. The people are warm and welcoming everywhere on The Coast and you will be made to feel 'at home'.
Oh, and bring your golf clubs- a round at the Greymouth Golf Club is worth it.
You will hear many disparaging remarks about the weather- ignore them. There is much more nice weather than nasty, and there are things to do in all weather anyway. The picture shows what it might be like on Lake Brunner, and easy 25 minutes from Greymouth.
"Getting There and Where To Stay"
The best way to get here is on the Trans Alpine, the train that travels daily from Christchurch to Greymouth across the Southern Alps. Best in winter it is still one of the most spectacular train trips in the world at any time of year. Stay a few days and arrange to leave via the southern highway via the glaciers and Haast to Central Otago (Wanaka, Queenstown, etc..)
A full range of hotel, motel, back-packer and homestays available to suit any budget.
Greymouth, largest town on the West Coast
Greymouth is the only city on New Zealand's remote West Coast. Most other towns have a very small population, with only Hokitika having 2000 or 3000 (Hokitika is the 2nd largest town).
So, Greymouth is the commercial centre of the west.
We spent a little while down by the river front, and found the look of the town from here rather industrial. It is, or was, a coal mining town.
There seem to be ample shops, restaurants and backpackers and other accommodation, but not a great deal to do (though as a base for adventure activities, it's probably not too bad).
From here, we caught the Tranzalpine train back across the mountains to Christchurch.
More later. ...
A view of the mountains near Greymouth.