Return of the Westland Petrel Festival

Friday 28 April–Sunday 30 April 2017
A weekend of entertainment and conservation

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The Westland petrel (tāiko) is endemic to New Zealand, and breeds only in the foothills of the Paparoa mountain ranges at Punakaiki.

During the breeding season, the tāiko can be found feeding off the West Coast and as far away as Cook Strait and Kaikoura. In the non-breeding season, it can be found from eastern Australia to Peru and Chile.

Westland petrel. Adult on water. Kaikoura pelagic, January 2013. Image © Philip Griffin © 2013

Westland petrel. Adult on water. Kaikoura pelagic, January 2013. Image © Philip Griffin © 2013

The Return of the Westland Petrel Festival celebrates the hardy Punakaiki local’s epic journey home each year to breed. You can find out more information about the Westland petrel on the website.

Click to enlarge photos:

Petrel Festival Timetable

Friday 28 April

4:30pm – A horse and cart will lead a parade from the end of McMillan Road, just south of Punakaiki. We’ll walk for about 1km and wait to watch the birds fly overhead, as they make their way to their nests in the mountains at dusk. There will be a short educational talk about the Westland petrels on the beach. Dress warmly for the weather.

7pm – Evening entertainment at the Pancake Rocks Cafe. Bring your own instruments for a good old Punakaiki jam night. Stoneoven pizzas, pancake stacks, dinner menu, licensed bar and cocktails.

Saturday 29 April

10am-12pm – Planting morning at the Punakaiki Coastal Restoration Project which plants trees to make an easy stress free journey up into the valley above where the birds live. Parking available at the project site – 3916 State Highway 6.
A combined presentation from OSPRI and the Department of Conservation will allow planters to learn about how pest control benefits the TBfree programme and the important role it plays in protecting our native species from predators such as stoats, rats and possums.

10am – Local market in front of the Pancake Rocks Cafe with food stalls and local arts and crafts.

2pm–4:30pm – Children’s afternoon at the Punakaiki Beach Camp. Clown show, bouncy castle and horse & wagon rides for kids and parents to hang out and have fun.

5pm till late – Live music and entertainment at the Punakaiki Beach Camp.

Sunday 30 April

10am–2pm – Brunch and music at the Pancake Rocks Cafe.

Petrel Festival Tickets

Tickets for the live music and entertainment on Saturday night, will be available from the Paparoa National Park Visitor Centre, i-SITE Greymouth and Westport, Punakaiki Beach Camp office, or on the gate at the Punakaiki Beach Camp.


Donations for helping to protect the Westland petrels can be deposited into our bank account: