On the northern west coast of the South Island, the Paparoa National Park is defined by the limestone base it is situated on. The coastline is characterised by high cliffs cut away by waves from the Tasman, with indented coves and sandy beaches. There are small islands and rock pillars off shore. The best known feature of the coast is the 'pancake rocks', where evenly layered stacks of limestone have been eroded in places to form surge pools and blowholes. The park is the overlapping point between subtropical and cool climate trees. Nikau palms and cabbage trees in the lowland, while silver beech forest merges with sub alpine shrubs higher up. Caving is available to both beginners and experienced cavers, and you can indulge in wilderness kayaking and hiking.