View on the way to Jacks Blowhole
Image: Shellie Evans | ©
The track crosses farmland to a spectacular blowhole, 55 m deep, some 200 m from the sea. It was formed when the roof of a large subterranean cave was eroded by the sea and fell in.
Heavy swells from the southern ocean on this exposed coastline can create an impressive display - waves are compressed through the underground tunnel and explode into the blowhole. There are plenty of roaring sound effects from both the water and an onrush of air, created by the surge from the sea expelling the air from the tunnel.
Jacks Blowhole is about 10 km from Owaka. Turn off the main road into Pounawea Road and follow this for 850 m to the turn into Hinahina Road. Follow Hinahina Road for 6 km then turn into Jacks Bay Road.
As with the bay and nearby island, Jacks Blowhole is named after the famed Ngāi Tahu chief, Tuhawaiki, known to early European settlers as Bloody Jack - apparently he was fond of using the expletive.
The route to the blowhole is marked by painted poles. Follow them, use the stiles rather than the gateways, and respect the access provided by the landowner.
For your own safety, do not lean or climb over the fence around the blowhole.