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International travel

Pancake Rocks

Along the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island, with the Southern Alps to the east and the Tasman Sea to the west, we traveled south toward Hokitika for a night’s stay.

Pancake Rocks - New Zealand's West Coast - Anything is Possible Travel
Map of South Island’s West Coast

Along the way we stopped at Buller Gorge and walked across “New Zealand’s longest swingbridge” (110m long and 17m high) above the rushing waters of the Buller River.

Pancake Rocks - Anything Is Possible Travel
Buller Gorge Swingbridge
Pancake Rocks - New Zealand's West Coast - Anything is Possible Travel
Buller Gorge

A few of us chose to make the zipline our return mode of transportation. (It was my first time, and as you can see I loved it!) Pancake Rocks - Anything Is Possible Travel

Pancake Rocks - New Zealand's West Coast - Anything is Possible Travel
Four conquer Buller Gorge Zipline! (Photo courtesy of Friedman Fotography

As you can see, the Buller Gorge Swingbridge is not wheelchair accessible.

In the early afternoon we stopped at Punakaiki, in the Paparoa National Park, to see the famous Pancake Rocks and blowholes. Pancake Rocks - Anything Is Possible TravelFormed 30 million years ago, these limestone rocks have been sculpted over the millennia by the mildly acidic rain, wind and sea water, forming what looks like piles of thick pancakes. Pancake Rocks - Anything Is Possible TravelPancake Rocks - Anything Is Possible TravelAs described in Lonely Planet New Zealand (16th Edition; pg. 455), “When the tide is high … the sea surges into caverns and booms menacingly through the blowhole. See it on a wild day and be reminded that Mother Nature really is the boss.” Pancake Rocks - Anything Is Possible TravelUnfortunately we did not experience the blowholes at high-tide. (I was sorry to miss the spectacle, although I was happy to keep my camera dry!) Pancake Rocks - Anything Is Possible TravelMuch of the flax-flanked pathway was wheelchair accessible; Pancake Rocks - Anything Is Possible Traveland signage indicated when it was time to turn around. Pancake Rocks - Anything Is Possible TravelPancake Rocks - Anything Is Possible TravelNarrow stone steps preclude a wheelchair user from going further. Pancake Rocks - Anything Is Possible TravelAlthough most of the rock formations were accessible, a few interesting ones (such as these two) were not.Pancake Rocks - Anything Is Possible Travel

Pancake Rocks - Anything Is Possible Travel
(Is this what you saw?)

Pancake Rocks - Anything Is Possible TravelStill, much of this scenic walk could be enjoyed by a wheelchair user, and the gift shop and restroom (behind the i-SITE) were accessible.

Pancake Rocks is billed as a “must-see” tourist attraction on the South Island. I would have to agree! Pancake Rocks - Anything Is Possible Travel

By Jeri Murphy

Traveler, photographer, wedding officiant, blogger. Mother, friend, explorer ... that's just a little about me!

2 replies on “Pancake Rocks”

I should have posted a video of the zipline. It wasn’t nearly as scary as I had anticipated!

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