Punakaiki is a small rural community right on the edge of Paparoa National Park, where visitors can enjoy the rugged countryside of the South Island through nature treks, hiking and walking trips, and any number of rock or cave explorations. While it is not a hot party spot, Punakaiki is close to Greymouth, where you can find a little more action in the form of breweries and a water park.
- Pancake Rocks and Blowholes
- Paparoa National Park
- Pororari River Track
- Enjoy ecological tours, caving and hiking excursions via Green Kiwi Tours
- Go horseback riding through the Punakaiki River Valley
- Take a guided tour of the forests and coast through Nature's Tours
The warmest months for Punakaiki are January and February, which have highs around 19-20°C, while June through August are the coldest with lows of 2-4°C. October through December are the wettest months with 24-29 cm of accumulation, and the overall annual rainfall is around 287 cm.
Getting There & Around
Greymouth, which is 45 minutes away from Punakaiki, operates bus lines from Intercity Coaches and Naked Bus to most of the major cities in the area, including Fox Glacier and Queenstown. The TransAlpine Express rail service terminates in Greymouth, where you can catch a bus or rent a car to travel to Punakaiki. The nearest international airport is a few hours away in Christchurch.
You can easily walk around town, but most visitors prefer to drive.