No, it’s a dog!
It’s interesting how we humans try to see shapes of things we know in the features that nature present to us. Does that cloud look like a bird? Or, that mountain looks like Queen Victoria lying in state, you can tell by the nose. Here at Punakaiki the shape that nature presents to me is a dog, but you may see something else.
Punakaiki is on the road between Westport and Greymouth (or is that between Greymouth and Westport, because it is closer to the former?) and is a geological feature of stratified rock formations created more than 30 million years ago. The feature is known as the Pancake Rocks. That’s not unusual really. There’s that shapes in nature thing again.
Punankaiki is actually the nearest village to the rock formation at Dolomite Point in the Paparoa National Park. The pancakes are formed from minute fragments of dead marine creatures and plants that landed on the seabed some 2 km below the surface. Immense water pressure caused the fragments to solidify into hard and soft layers. Gradually seismic action lifted the limestone above the seabed and mildly acidic rain, wind and seawater sculpted the bizarre shapes seen today.
In wild weather, which is very common on the West Coast, the blowholes that form part of the Pancake Rocks are said to be spectacular. Unfortunately in all the visits I have had to the area over the years I have never seen them in action in any serious way.
The rocks rare are a very popular West Coast tourist attraction and on a good day the walking paths provided and maintained by the Department of Conservation are busy with people trying to get the best views.
I still think its a dog!