Pancake Rocks, also known as Punakaiki, are a natural rock formation that take their name from their strange formation of thin layers of limestone stacked on top of one another like a stack of pancakes. Pancake Rocks are located on the West Coast of South Island in New Zealand.

The formation originally formed on the seabed in layers. The layers consisted of areas of limestone and areas of mudstone. Seismic movement lifted the area above the seabed and over time the wind, rain and sea spray eroded the softer mudstone, leaving behind the stacks of limestone.

The area of Pancake Rocks is relatively large with lots of pancake stacks that are lined in rows, one behind the other as they drop off into the Tasman Sea.

The layers of limestone are literally stacked on top of each other without any other substance between the layers and each pancake stack has its own unique shape. A close up look of the Pancake Rock stacks can be seen in the following photos.

The Pancake Rocks are an amazing rock formation. They are interesting to look at and each individual stack is almost an individual piece of art but my favorite view is of the Pancake Rocks in the foreground and the beauty of the New Zealand coast line and the Tasman Sea in the background. This view has the look of being in a mysterious paradise.

The Dust on My Shoes

I learned about the Pancake Rocks shortly before my first trip to New Zealand and I had not seen a photo of them prior to seeing them on my trip. I put them on my travel list purely on the recommendation of a friend. When I walked along the trail towards the Pancake Rocks, I had no idea what to expect so my first sighting of the Pancake Rocks was one of my true “wow” moments of my travels.

The Pancake Rocks are an unusual rock formation that appears to be unexplainable when looking at them but nature has a way of creating many unexplainable places.

The beauty of nature comes in many different forms. Sometimes nature is complex and sometimes it is simple. To me, the formation is simple, one layer of rock stacked on top of another but the irregular shape of each stack combined with the different shades of gray coloration of the limestone give the formation the appearance nature’s version of modern art.

I am seldom disappointed when I spend time in nature. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the grandeur of the sight in front of me, sometimes it is the beauty of the small details and sometimes it is in being amazed by the unexplainable.

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6 thoughts on “Pancake Rocks – New Zealand”

  1. Wow! for me as well. This is not only so interesting, but just beautiful!

    1. Thanks Mike! Nature continues to baffle me. There are so many places around the world that make me stop and wonder “how did that happen?” Places like these are one of the reasons that my travel lust in never quenched.

  2. Nice! As a side note, I have a sudden craving for a stack of pancakes! lol

    1. Thanks Ashoak! Unusual rock formations have always interested me. I am always amazed by how things in this world happens.

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