The Paparoa National Park is located on the West Coast of the South Island. It lies to the north between Greymouth and Westport close to State Highway 6.
Since limestone lies under most of the park, the park is full of strange landforms - deep river canyons, fragile caves and the well known pancake formations on the coast. The most well known of these pancake formations is at Punakaiki - the famous Pancake Rocks and blowholes of Dolomite Point. A twenty minute loop walk from the highway takes you past the amazing rocks and blowholes.
Due to the mild and wet climate of the coast, vegetation is varied and the nikau palms that are in abundance give the area a subtropical feel. Further inland the forests are comprised of red and silver beech with rimu.
There is only one overnight walk in the park, the Inland Pack Track which takes 2 to 3 days. The track leads from Tiromoana in the north up the Fox River and then heads south to come out near Punakaiki. Transport is required to return to Tiromoana. Please note there are no DOC huts in the park and trampers have to take camping gear for the Inland Pack Track.
The Pororari River is suitable for canoeing and there are many caving opportunities from the easy Punakaiki Cavern (torch and good footwear required) to other cave systems available to guided parties only.
There is plenty of accommodation in Punakaiki from campgrounds to motels. Westport (55 km to the north) and Greymouth (43 km to the south) both have a full range of accommodation.
Inland Pack Track - two to three days, camping gear required - no DOC huts.