Paparoa National Park
The pancake country
The Paparoa National Park covers about 30,000 hectares (306 sq km.) on the west coast of the South Island of New Zealand. It was created in 1987 to preserve the unique limestone karst environment and protect it from mining and forestry exploitation. The park's karst lowland is considered to be of great scientific significance for its undisturbed forest cover, gorges, disappearing and reappearing streams and caves.
Its luxuriant coastal forest, limestone cliffs and canyons, underground streams, delicate cave formations and an absolutely spectacular coastline make it a must-see. The Paparoa Range, made of granite, which has slowly been shaped by ice into its present rugged outline, provides a magnificent backdrop for the park.
It is most famous for its bizarre Pancake rocks which have eroded and formed a pattern, which make them look like a stack of pancakes. This unique weathered rock formation lends itself to water spouting or blowholes, and spurts water skywards in the form of spectacular geysers when sea water surges into the caverns beneath the rocks in strong weather conditions.
It is also noted for the Pororari River next to the Pancake Rocks, which has been described as "the river of paradise". The river opens an otherworldly zone of green, striking nikau palms, rushing streams, and sweeping coastal views.