Things to do in New Zealand South Island: Oparara Basin, off the beaten track to New Zealand's top tourist attraction

Things to do in New Zealand South Island: Oparara Basin, off the beaten track to New Zealand's top tourist attraction

The Oparara Basin is a complex of limestone caves, arches, and channels. The basin is 35 million years old, with the most extensive limestone formations in the southern hemisphere. The basin's pristine landscape and primeval rainforest are popular with walkers, cavers, and nature lovers. Paleontologists…

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Last Resort Karamea, New Zealand West Coast, South Island, review

Last Resort Karamea, New Zealand West Coast, South Island, review

Located on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, Karamea is your gateway to the Kahurangi National Park. The region is said to be 'New Zealand's best-kept secret'. About 20 kilometers (12 mi) north of Karamea is the Kohaihai River, which forms one end of the Heaphy Track, one of New Zealand's nine 'Great Walks'.

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My visit to Metro Cave/Te Ananui Cave, a glowworm cave in New Zealand South Island (west coast)

My visit to Metro Cave/Te Ananui Cave, a glowworm cave in New Zealand South Island (west coast)

Waitomo in the North Island has one of the most famous glowworm caves in New Zealand. Metro Caves, also known as the Te Ananui Caves, are a great place to see glowworms in the South Island. I visited the Metro Caves while touring the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand.

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Pancake Rocks Cafe, Punakaiki, review, New Zealand West Coast.

Pancake Rocks Cafe, Punakaiki, review, New Zealand West Coast.

Located on Coast Rd, Punakaiki 4300, New Zealand, the Pancake Rocks Cafe is across the road from the famous Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki. I stopped here with a friend for an evening meal before visiting the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Even though the cafe is famous for its pancakes, I ordered the soup of the day while my friend had fish and chips.

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Punakaiki Beach, Punakaiki, New Zealand West Coast, South Island

Punakaiki Beach, Punakaiki, New Zealand West Coast, South Island

Punakaiki is located on the rugged West Coast of New Zealand's South Island at the edge of the Paparoa National Park. It is best known for the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes, a must-see while visiting the West Coast. I visited Punakaiki beach with photographer and tour-guide Neil Silverwood with whom I had connected earlier for my trip to the West Coast.

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Things to do in New Zealand, West Coast (South Island): Punakaiki Pancake Rocks & Blowholes, Paparoa National Park

Things to do in New Zealand, West Coast (South Island): Punakaiki Pancake Rocks & Blowholes, Paparoa National Park

The Punakaiki Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki are part of the Paparoa National Park. They are limestone formations created by immense pressure on alternating hard and soft layers of marine creatures and plant sediments. The rocks started forming about 30 million years ago. During high tide, the ocean water bursts through several vertical blowholes.

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Pororari river track & kayaking, New Zealand West Coast (South Island)

Pororari river track & kayaking, New Zealand West Coast (South Island)

The Pororari river runs through a dramatic limestone gorge surrounded by lush rain forests. The river has deep pools with a lookout point. It is part of New Zealand's Paparoa National Park. The Pororari River Track is a part of Punakaiki area walks. Punakaiki Canoes offers rental kayak trips into the heart of the Paparoa National Park, 1km north of the Pancake Rocks and blowholes at Punakaiki.

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