The awesome 245-metre cliffs at Parininihi (the White Cliffs) are where upland Taranaki reaches the coast, between Urenui and Tongapōrutu. These 10-million-year-old mudstones are being continually eroded by the sea. Caves are carved into the cliff faces by the huge waves whipped up by westerly storms, and great chunks of land then tumble into the sea. Parts of the cave walls sometimes remain for many years as small islands called ‘stacks’. They, too, eventually fall victim to the wild breakers of the Tasman Sea – the two ‘sisters’ seen here were originally a group of three.
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Photograph by Tracey Keith
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