Pancake Rocks Blowhole Punakaiki


Destination Conservation Experience Overview

Located on the rugged and wild west coast of New Zealand’s South Island, Punakaiki is the gateway to the dramatic limestone country of Paparoa National Park and the famous Pancake Rocks and blow holes. Volunteers will contribute to the Punakaiki Coastal Restoration Project, which aims to restore native forest habitat for the vulnerable seabird, the Westland Petrel. The Westland Petrel is one of New Zealand’s unique bird species with its only breeding location confined to a 5 km area in the foothills of the Paparoa Range. Westland Petrels return to their colonies to breed from April to October and can be viewed at dusk and dawn from the project site.

This volunteer and travel program enables you to explore some of the most incredible scenery on offer in New Zealand, taking you along the Arthur’s Pass alpine highway and Coastal Road of the West Coast. You’ll experience two of the best short hikes inside National Parks in the country, visit a fur seal colony, explore the famous limestone formations of Pancake Rocks and blow holes and best of all, help to create and protect habitat for a vulnerable and incredible seabird species.

Experience Highlights

  • Exploring spectacular limestone karst formations and ancient temperate coastal rainforests in rugged Paparoa National Park
  • Helping to protect and restore habitat for vulnerable Westland Petrel colonies in Te Ara Tāiko Nature Reserve
  • Experiencing the famous Pancake Rocks and Putai blow hole
  • Visiting a fur seal colony in Tauranga Bay, Westport
  • Traversing Arthur’s Pass, the highest and most spectacular mountain pass across the Southern Alps

Experience Details

Duration: 5 days / 4 nights
Departs: Christchurch
Meeting Location: 8 am Canterbury Museum, Rolleston Ave, Central Christchurch
Return time: 5 pm Central Christchurch
Price: $995 per person

What’s Included

  • Experienced Conservation Volunteers Team Leader
  • Return transfers to Punakaiki from Christchurch
  • 4 nights in cabin accommodation at the Punakaiki Beach Camp
  • Three meals a day from lunch day 1 to lunch day 5
  • Conservation activities and equipment
  • Paparoa National Park including Pancake Rocks and Putai blow hole, sight-seeing trip to the NZ fur seal colony in Westport, and guided walks along the Truman Track and to the Devil’s Punchbowl Waterfall inside Arthur’s Pass National Park
  • Certificate of appreciation

What’s Not Included

  • Travel to Christchurch city departure point
  • Breakfast day 1 and dinner day 5
  • Laundry, medical expenses, personal travel insurance and items of a personal nature
  • Visa and passport charges
  • Departure, airport and airline charges
  • Souvenirs, any additional tours or activities.

2019 Experience Dates

  • Monday 12th to Friday 16th August – Book Now
  • Monday 9th to Friday 13th September – Book Now
  • Monday 7th to Friday 11th October – Book Now
  • Monday 28th October to Friday 01st November – Book Now
  • Monday 2nd to Friday 6th December – Book Now


Punakaiki DCE Brochure
Punakaiki DCE Itinerary