Pancake Rocks and Blowholes

Point of Interest

4.8 from 31 users.


The Pancake Rocks at Dolomite Point near Punakaiki are a heavily eroded limestone area where the sea bursts through several vertical blowholes. The Pancake Rocks are most spectacular in the Putai area. They were formed 30 million years ago from minute fragments of dead marine creatures and plants landed on the seabed about 2 km below the surface. Immense water pressure caused the fragments to solidify in hard and soft layers. Gradually seismic action lifted the limestone above the seabed. Mildly acidic rain, wind and seawater sculpted the bizarre shapes. Explore a limestone landscape of pancake-shaped rock formations, blowholes and surge pools on a short, paved walk that's great for children. Distance 1.1km loop - 20 minutes. This is an all-weather walk around the curious limestone formations of pancake rocks and blowholes. With the exception of an optional short section with steps, the walk is suitable for wheelchairs (with assistance). Blowholes form from a mixture of compressed water and air escaping through the caverns below and being forced upwards, creating a huge wall of spray. They are at their best around high tide when there is a south-westerly swell. Spectacular views, geological oddities, coastal forest, rich birdlife and marine mammals are highlights along this walk. No dogs.

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Lat: -42.114953 Lng: 171.327005

User Reviews



It may be massively touristy but there's a good reason for that. Absolutely a must do, very interesting landscape. We came in the very early morning when there was no one else, and loved watching the Terns feeding their chicks on the rocks.



Still accessible during roadwork just follow the signs. Lovely lookouts, easy path and really cool blowholes. Definitely worth a visit. DOC across the road from the path entrance.



This is definitely a must, everyone should visit pancake rocks, stunning what nature does. Highly recommend & it's free. Nice cafe across the road as well 🥰


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