Attractions and Activities
A main attraction of Irimahuwhero is the interpretation panels at the point, with its great views of the rugged coastline and its amazing limestone and sandstone formations. You can see where water has sculptured the limestone, forming delicate and beautiful drainage networks including vertical shafts, caves and resurfacing streams.
The areas most famous limestone features are the blowholes and pancake rocks at Dolomite Point near Punakaiki, just 5km from Irimahuwhero panels.
See wildlife in their natural habitat. Nestled on the high ledges of Te Miko cliffs, you can see the Parekareka (spotted shag), finding protection from predators and stormy winds. The southern blue penguin nest here, and the ocean attracts hectors dolphins, which can often be seen close to the shore. Sperm whales occasionally pass by while the Kekeno (New Zealand fur seal) basks in the sun.
Visit the Fox River recreation area, a popular stopping place. The area is centred on Brighton, a ghost town that once boasted 5000 people and 53 hotels, during the 1866-67 gold rush.
From here you can visit Te Ana o Matuku, a sea cave used by early Māori travellers for shelter. It has a safe 200m passage decorated with stalactite formations that have developed over thousands of years. A walk under the current highway bridge, up some steep stairs on the other side of the road and along a grassy track past some holiday baches will take you to the cave. At low tide, you will be able to walk through the cave and out onto the beach.