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Paparoa National Park

Paparoa National Park
(1st page)
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Link to DOC:
Paparoa National Park
Print of Great Spotted Kiwi: Buller's Birds of New Zealand, the Supplement, 1905.
Photograph of tree ferns: from Virtual Bay.
Print of Nikau palm, William Curtis, 1859.

Paparoa National Park lies midway between Westport and Greymouth, centred on the small coastal settlement of Punakaiki. This region has the finest scenery on the West Coast. At Dolomite Point, limestone outcrops have weathered to form the bizarre Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. When high tides coincide with westerly swells, seawater surges into caverns beneath the pancake-like rock stacks, and spurts skywards in the form of spectacular geysers.

The bird life in Paparoa National park is remarkable for its diversity as well as for density. The park ranges from on or near the coastline to the peak of the Paparoa Ranges. Thanks to this several species such as tui, bellbird, kaka, New Zealand pigeon and parakeets migrate from winter habitat in the lower forests to summer habitat in the upland forests.

The Westland petrel/titi colony breed south of the Punakaiki River. The birds stay mostly out at sea, but during the breeding season you can see them flying to and from the colony at dusk and dawn.

The nocturnal and secretive great spotted kiwi/roroa is not often seen, but listen for a loud snuffling or a harsh whistling cry and you'll know one is close by.

Paparoa National Park was established in 1987 and is 306 km sq.

(page last updated  15 July 2007)