Pancake Rocks and Blow Holes, Punakaiki (New Zealand)
Pancake Rocks and blowholes are located on the western edge of Paparoa National Park on New Zealand’s South Island. Here, columns of water shoot skyward from rocks that resemble giant stacks of hotcakes. Nature began this magnum opus about 30 million years ago as layers of sandstone and limestone accumulated on the ocean floor.
Over thousands of years, alternating layers of small marine creatures and sand became buried and compressed on the ocean floor. This resulted areas with multiple layers of hard limestone and softer sandstone. Earthquakes helped lifting the ocean floor high and dry whereas the rain and wind eroded the softer sandstone. Eventually, it resulted in hundreds of horizontal slices along their vertical faces, like huge stacks of pancakes. In many places, deep inside the cliffs, narrow vertical air shafts met with horizontal tunnels created by the ocean. During high tides, the ocean rush headlong through tunnels and force large amounts of water and compressed air to run upward through the vertical shafts.
The Pancake Rocks can be reached by a number of walkways winding through the rock formations, parts of these wheelchair-accessible and others carved into stairways up and down the rock faces. Informative signage along the way helps you understand this bizarre work of nature. The best time to visit it is at high tide.
Pancake Rocks and Blow Holes, Punakaiki New Zealand Video by onewaynewzealand -
Pancake Rocks and Blow Holes, Punakaiki (New Zealand),