42 Rankers Reviews
Deep limestone canyons, jungle like nikau, huge rata and a swirling river make this walk a real distillation of West Coast majesty.
Pororari River Track is signposted 1 km north of Punakaiki Visitor Centre on SH6.
The well-graded track shortly enters the vertical walled gorge and weaves alongside the tannin-stained Pororari River.
A natural arch under a rata tree, memorable lookout over the river, forest and limestone walls and a dense temperate rainforest quickly make you realise this is a special walk.
Look for trout in the water.
A grotto with wooden and rock steps after 45 minutes is an easy place to bump your head and can be slippery.
The track concludes at the swingbridge, where there is a small rocky beach at the natural turn-around spot.
Return via the same track.
There are options to follow the Punakaiki River to form an 11 km loop, but this requires transport at the other end.
The limestone around Paparoa forms part of a syncline. The exposed beds above ground have been upthrust through tectonic movements, then carved by rivers to form the deep gorges.
Rata, nikau and podocarps are the distinguishing specimens lending a tropical-like feel to the forest.
This well-watered forest is true rainforest, but in a temperate latitude.
Be aware of the native nettle ongaonga on the trackside. The spines are easily recognisable and the sting can hurt for months.
South Island ▷ West Coast ▷ Punakaiki
Showing 13 reviews of 39.
Beautiful native forest, nice river.
Super easy hiking and largely ahead of the time given at the outset. Beautiful view and atypical scenery!
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A free hike between forest and the Pororari River. A beautiful forest and a finish with the Pancake Rocks. Amazing view for this landscape. And the must: eat a pancake at the Pancake Rocks Cafe.
Very nice walk along the river, with hills on both sides. When you wake up early in the morning, head to the top, the hills are in the clouds and it gives you a special atmosphere. Also nice for jogging!!
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Lovely, quite easy riverside walk amongst the tree ferns with a few openings to view the other side of the river.
When done as a loop it is an easy half day walk. Through an almost magic Nikau forest all along the river, then uphill over the range, down to Punakaiki River. Back to Pororari carpark along the road.
Laura and Marie
Very nice walk along the river through the rainforest, beautiful views, mud on the last half - that was the bad side.
Expansive stretch of emerald green water, a winding track with lovely mountain overhang and many swimming launch points.
Very beautiful walk along the river with magnificent flora, but short cut because of bridge works.
Very beautiful and peaceful place.
Gentle flowing river surrounded by lush trees and cliffs. Very quiet and easy to access. Map available from the i-Site.
Amazing! Beautiful, awesome swimming, just perfect.
The walk was perfect even for slightly out of shape middle aged people. So beautiful with eye candy you hardly notice you are hiking up and down moss lined trails.
Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍