The Ballroom

Ballroom Overhang

Useful Information

Location: Inland Pack Track Near Westport. Paparoa National Park, between Westport and Greymouth.
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: Speleologyerosional cave Oligocene limestone
Light: bring torch
Guided tours:
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Paparoa National Park Visitor Centre, 4294 Coast Road, Punakaiki, RD 1, Runanga 7873, Tel +64-3-731-1895, Fax +64-3-731-1888. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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The Ballroom is an overhaning cliff face, a shelter for hikers and a stop on the Inland Pack Track. It is used by hikers when it rains, which is rather common in this area. If this overhang was located in Europe, it would definitely be a site of Paleolithic finds. New Zealand was not inhabited before the Maori, so the could only be some Maori remains. At the moment we do not know about such remains or related excavations.

The ballrom has a circular back wall, with rather typical horizontal furrows. This shows very impressive how it was formed: the erosion of flowing water, a river formed this overhang. The water flows in so-called meanders, and when it is forced to change its direction it works on the rocks.

If you use this shelter, be careful with rats. It is a very good idea to seal all food. There is no wood for campfires at this place, so it is necessary to bring it with you or walk some distance to find some.