Pancake Rocks

Beez Neez now Chy Whella
Big Bear and Pepe Millard
Thu 4 Sep 2014 22:57
Pancakes Rocks, Punakaiki
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The book said “The Pancake Rocks are a very popular tourist goal at Dolomite Point south of the main village. The Pancake Rocks are a heavily eroded limestone area where the sea bursts through several vertical blowholes during high tides. Together with the 'pancake'-layering of the limestone (created by immense pressure on alternating hard and soft layers of marine creatures and plant sediments), these form the main attraction of the area.

The Pancake Rocks are presently explorable by a number of walkways winding through the rock formations, parts of these wheelchair-accessible and others carved into stairways up and down the rock faces. State Highway 6, the only through road on the West Coast, passes through the town.”



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The pamphlet said “Nature began this work of art about thirty million years ago. Over thousands of years, alternating layers of small marine creatures and sand became buried and compressed on the ocean floor. This created areas with multiple layers of hard limestone and softer sandstone. Earthquake activity then lifted the ocean floor high and dry, and those slow motion artists - the rain and the wind - began to erode the softer sandstone. The outcome is cliffs and ravines with hundreds of horizontal slices along their vertical faces, like huge stacks of pancakes.

In many places, deep inside the cliffs, narrow vertical air shafts created by the rain met with horizontal tunnels created by the pounding ocean. Today, around high tide, the ocean swells rush headlong through ever-narrowing tunnels and force large amounts of water and compressed air to race upward through the vertical shafts. The result is a hissing, heaving, thumping countryside that rhythmically emits geyser-like plumes of salt water. In a strong westerly swell, this creation of nature is a very impressive sight.”

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We followed the path and stopped at ‘a seat like’ rock cunningly now part of the retaining wall.
The Pancakes themselves did not disappoint. However............
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So when we wanted a nice day to see the Milford Sound we had a snowstorm and no view from the Milford Road. Today we wanted storm conditions or at least an onshore wind to see the Pancakes blow– Nadder, the sea was as calm as the day we went to see Jack’s Blowhole. Oh well. The rocks are stand alone good as they are quite a unique sight.
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Spot the other difference.............
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Uhhhh Errrrr No No.
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The shapes began to stand out as we looked. Ninja.
The ‘Billy no mates’ out at sea looks like many of faces.
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A Griffon and a mouse/sphinx.
Lots of garden gnomes.
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Monkeys arguing or a gibbon.
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Way too much fun, time for some wave watching. That done we decide to do another circuit.
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The last bit of the track, back round to the start and a quick tourist pose.
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Bear was on one side, I was on the sun setting side.
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We stood on our different sides, in hope and anticipating ‘the big wave’ that never arrived. The waves crashed in there was a good noise, hissing and splashing. The whole natural ‘bridge’ we were standing on actually had a tiny shake.
Back looking over the beach we could see how the sea is undercutting the rocks, one day the whole area will have to close. Not that soon though.
Home time.
                     VERY STRANGE, WEIRD AND UNUSUAL