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  • West Coast's dramatic topography of forested mountains, wild beaches and off-shore rock structures is often made even more moody by quickly changing weather, fast-moving clouds and lashing rain. width:640;;height:380
  • Majestic rock formations line much of the west coast. width:640;;height:307
  • Inland at certain points the coast opens up to wide, flat plains with broad rivers flowing down from New Zealand's highest mountains further inland. width:640;;height:334
  • At other spots along the coast, the interior remains mountainous, covered in dense native New Zealand forests and bisected by fast-flowing cold-water streams like the Porarari River near Punakaiki. . width:640;;height:480
  • Golden cliffs stand amidst lush, jungly forests along Porarari  River near Punakaiki. width:614;;height:480
  • Many west coast beaches consist of beautiful, palm-sized flat stones exhibiting all sorts of colors, vein-ing, ripples and marbling. width:640;;height:403
  • More stunning rock formations just offshore. width:640;;height:480
  • The coastal road hugs the shoreline in many places, offering spectacular scenery up-close. width:640;;height:318
  • Famous Punakaiki - aka Pancake Rocks - present the most dramatic & extensive rock formations along the coast. width:640;;height:480
  • A lone rock pillar just offshore at Punakiki. width:369;;height:480
  • This hollow and undercut rocks pose another dramatic feature at Punakaiki. At high tides, sea water rushing through the cave formations often sprays out in explosive plumes, giving visitors a spcectacular display. width:640;;height:480
  • A final panoramic view of the west coast, looking northward from Punakaiki. width:640;;height:426
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