Photo taken by: The Planet D (Flying Kiwi Traveller)

Tours in Punakaiki

Punakaiki - Tour Highlights

Situated on the West Coast of New Zealand, this is one of our favourite spots! The entire region has a remote and rugged feel about it that is reminiscent of the good ole days, you can almost imagine a horse and cart travelling past you! Best known for the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes this spectacular natural wonder is best viewed on high tide where you get the brunt of the Tasman sea pounding against the rocks. 

Our scenic campsite is located beside the powerful Tasman sea and is also on the doorstep of the Paparoa National Park, a perfect spot to spend the night.

Make sure you pack your raincoat though, this rugged prehistoric looking landscape filled with beautiful Nikau palms and lush greenery comes from a high rainfall, but it's well worth it to experience the almost magical feel this beautiful area will leave you with.

Time spent here while on a Flying Kiwi tour:

We spend 1 night here on the Wild West Coast.

Tours that take you here:

Ultimate Explorer - 27 or 28 days      Summer Blast - 16, 17 or 19 days  
Total Aotearoa - 24 days Wild West - 8 or 9 days
Reverse Traverse - 14 or 15 days  

Where we stay: 

Punakaiki Beach Camp – A cosy camp located in the mouth of the Pororari River. It has very open areas, ideal to make use of the onboard sports equipment and have fun with the fellow travelers.

- Wifi available $5 per 24h
- Laundry $4 per wash & $5 per dry
- Cabin upgrades



pancake rocks

Free Things to Do:

Doing a loop to discover the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes is a must on any visit to Punakaiki. We always stop there as they are probably the best limestone features in the whole of New Zealand and one of the most famous landmarks on the West Coast. If you get there at high tide and there is big swell you will see the water being forced through narrow gaps in the rocks that create the famous blowholes. Impressive show! Make sure you take your raincoat!

Insiders Tip:

The Great Coast road that runs between Westport and Greymouth is described as one of the Top 10 Coastal Drives in the world! Thats got to be something to look foward to.



Hiking Options:

Pororari River Trail – This 3h track follows the Pororari River up a valley that is surrounded by towering limestone cliffs and dense forest home to the worlds southernmost palm tree, the Nikau Palm.

Truman Track – The best of NZ nature all packed into one 30min return walk. Native forest and birds and bushes are waiting you, and the beautiful Truman Beach in the end!

Cycle Options:

West Coast Road Ride – A 36km road ride into camp alongside the stunning coast. Recommended for advanced riders, this road ride is hilly but brings massive rewards. The landscape significantly changes from incredible coastal views, rolling pastoral hills into subtropical and prehistoric limestone rock formations in Punakaiki.

Bullock Creek Ride – A 8km relaxing ride beside the Paparoa National Park. The tropical rainforest opens up into a flax wetland where you can see the towering limestone canyon walls and caves.

Our pick of Punakaiki's Top Activities:

 Megan Simpson 158

Freedom Kayaking

A freedom kayak rental on fresh water through the Paparoa National Park with amazing limestone rocks, Nikau palms and lush rainforest. Relax and enjoy this peaceful river setting, very prehistoric looking.


Punakaiki Horse Trekking

2.5hrs. Minimum 2pax. Horseriding into Punakaiki Valley and within Paparoa National Park, refreshments at bush hut, finish ride along the beach, catering to all levels. Tuition at beginning of ride.