See nature’s creativity at its finest in these stunning rock formations, witnesses to the perpetual thumping of the waves, storms and raging winds.

Pancake Rocks, Punakaiki, New Zealand

Pancake Rocks

It takes a while for good things to come about. In the case of Pancake Rocks, it was 30 million years! Located in West Coast, these heavily eroded limestone rocks in bizarre shapes feature fascinating vertical blowholes. 

Cathedral Cove, Coromandel

Cathedral Cove

This cove in The Coromandel is a true scenic gem, overlooked by chalky white and pink volcanic Ignimbrite cliffs and an impressive natural cavern of cathedral-like proportions. Cathedral Cove has even made it to the big screen in the Chronicles of Narnia – Prince Caspian and a Macklemore music video.

Christchurch - Canterbury
Kura Tawhiti Track, Christchurch - Canterbury

Castle Hill

An hour’s drive from Christchurch, Castle Hill or Kura Tawhiti features huge boulders and rock outcrops. This lovely spot in the Southern Alps is a mecca for skiers and rockclimbers. This place is highly regarded by the Maori for its spiritual significance and scenic wonder. 

Northland & Bay of Islands
Piercy Island, Bay of Islands, Northland & Bay of Islands

Hole in the Rock

Sprouting out of the Pacific Ocean off the wild end of the Bay of Islands' Cape Brett is Motukokako. What’s special about this island is the hole in it – Hole in the Rock. This icon of the north is an easily accessible island tunnel so big it can fit medium-sized cruise boats through it.

Nugget Point on the Catlins Coast, Clutha

Nugget Point

A minimalist light house and a surreal clump of wave-eroded rocks combine to form Nugget Point on the Caitlins Coast. Dramatic coastal views and seal pups that use the pools within the rocks to splash about make this place well worth a visit.


Split Apple Rock Kaiteriteri Kayak Nelson, New Zealand

Split Apple Rock

This rounded apple-shaped rock formation in the Abel Tasman National Park was split into two by virtue of the force generated by freezing and expansion of the water in a crack in the rock during one of the Ice Ages. High tide viewing of this rock formation is stunning.

Moeraki Boulders, Waitaki

Moeraki Boulders

The Moeraki Boulders in Waitaki are geological marvels, perfectly rounded by erosion of sedimentary rocks laid down from 65 to 13 million years ago. According to Maori legend, the boulders are gourds washed ashore from the great voyaging canoe Araiteuru when it was wrecked upon landfall in New Zealand hundreds of years ago.

The Pinnacles, Coromandel

The Pinnacles

If you’re seeking another perfect New Zealand sunrise and a lofty sense of achievement, head to The Pinnacles Walk in The Coromandel. These thick, rainforest-covered mountains are every hiker’s dream with rock and tree formations that one cannot explain.

Hawke's Bay
Cape Kidnappers/Te Kauwae-a-Māui, Hawke's Bay

Cape Kidnappers

Sitting in a tractor trailer is just one of the ways you can get here, and that is half the fun. Cape Kidnappers is an extraordinary sandstone headland in Hawke's Bay. Home to the largest and most accessible gannet colony in the world, it was so named by Captain Cook after an attempt by local Maori to abduct one of his crew.

Lion Rock, Piha Beach, Auckland

Lion Rock

The most iconic landmark of Piha, one of Auckland’s famous West Coast Beaches, is another rock formation that is steeped in Maori tradition. Geologically, Lion Rock is the eroded neck of a volcano which erupted 16 million years ago. The orange scarp on the rock’s south-facing slope vividly shows the continual erosion.

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