Paparoa National Park on the South Island’s West Coast is most famous for its sculpted limestone cliffs including the Pancake Rocks and blowholes at Dolomite Point. The best place to base yourself for exploring the park is the small village of Punakaiki.
The limestone base of the park makes this a spectacular destination, with karst limestone formations scattered amongst lush green forests and carved out river canyons. There are a number of opportunities for the unguided day tripper to safely experience the subterranean cave systems. The oldest tourist destination in the park is the Fox River Cave Walk, a safe cave walk with 200m of an underground network to explore, or visit the Punakaiki cavern located right beside State Highway 6 – just remember to bring a good flashlight.
To really understand the flora and fauna of the park, the fascinating Natures Tour of Dolomite Point is a must, or for a more adventurous experience, black water rafting with Underworld Adventures. For more information on walks and caves in Paparoa National Park visit the Department of Conservation website.