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Pororari River Track, West Coast

Limestone cliffs tower over the Pororari River, a short walk from Punakaiki. Photo: Premysl Luljak
Distance
6.06km return to Inland Pack Track
Total Ascent
162m
Time
2.5hr return to Inland Pack Track junction
Grade
Easy
Access
From the car park by the Pororari River bridge, 1km north of the Visitor Centre on SH6
Map
BS19
GPX File
porari-river-track-west-coast (gpx, yo 9 KB)
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If you’re at Punakaiki and want to escape the crowds at Pancake Rocks, a short walk along the Pororari River Track will do the trick.

The track passes through a lush, forested river valley, surrounded on all sides by dramatic limestone cliffs and bluffs, eventually reaching Paparoa National Park and a junction with the recently reopened Inland Pack Track.

A 15-minute walk from the car park brings you to a seat and a lovely lookout over the river. The track continues for another 2.5km to the Inland Pack Track.

This sub-tropical forest, with many shades of green and diverse leaf shapes of nikau palms, tree ferns and towering rata, is a delight to walk through. Wildlife abounds – weka cross the track and tomtit, bush robins, kereru, tuis and bellbirds fly overhead. Shoals of fish can be seen in the dark pools.