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Westport (New Zealand)

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Westport is a town on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand.


Get in[edit]

Westport is 5 km up State Highway 67 from the junction with State Highway 6.

When travelling from Nelson or Christchurch, take SH 6 from Inangahua Junction via the Buller Gorge to the junction with SH 67. Allow at least an hour for travelling through this scenic gorge. The road through the gorge is single lane in several places and frequently travelled by buses and trucks; take care, be patient, and enjoy the scenery.

When travelling from Greymouth, take SH 6 along the coast via Punakaiki to the junction with SH 67. Allow 2.5 hr driving, and set aside an hour to see the Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki.

Westport has a few regular flights.

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

  • Buller River Bar - Watch the fishing boats come in and enjoy the wild seas.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Cape Foulwind Hike starts a few km from town and follows the coast to the seal colony. It's a nice hike and if you're lucky the fog will be rolling in, the wind will be blowing and the surf pounding and you will see why Captain James Cook named the area Cape Foulwind. The hike will take less than an hour and is well worth the time and the minimal effort.
  • Buller Gorge Swingbridge - you can walk across a swing bridge, or go on a flying fox, and on the other side there are nice walks, some to the epicentre of a huge earthquake.
  • Visit the Denniston Incline - Drive to the top and marvel at the near vertical rail incline. This is where they used to load up the coal wagons and send them down for processing.
  • Charming Creek Walkway, (access at Ngakawau or Seddonville), [1]. A 10.5km walk taking in some great scenery and some old railway relics.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Lots of pubs in Palmerston St, the main road

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Bella Vista Westport, 314 Palmerston St, +64 3 789 7800 (toll free: 0800 BELLA VISTA). checkin: 2pm; checkout: 10am. Four star quality motel with unlimited free wifi and guest laundry. From $125.  edit
  • Wangapeka Backpackers Retreat/Farmstay, Wangapeka Valley Road, Little Wanganui (Approximately 1 hour north; turn right off the main road to Karamea and follow the Backpacker/Farmstay blue signs), 64 3 7826 663 (), [2]. Set in 40 acres of rainforest and 20 acres of farmland, this is a small and personal family-run backpacker farmstay at the start of the Wangapeka Track and close to the Heaphy Track. Facilities are shared with the family, and meals are available on request. $20 dorm, $35 farmstay single, $55 farmstay double.  edit
  • The Old Slaughterhouse, Hector (On the main road towards Karamea approximately 30 minutes north of Westport, about 1km north of Hector), +64 (0) 3 782 8333, [3]. Perched on top of a hill, this is a small eco-friendly lodge. Power is generated by a micro hydro system. The lodge is surrounded by native bush with stunning views of the Tasman sea and is accessed by a walking track up the hill. A welcoming and relaxing place to stay.  edit


Internet access is available, including Wi-Fi, at the Public Library in town, during Library hours.

Get out[edit]

  • The Truman Track is south along the coast from Westport and is a 15 minute hike to the coast with excellent breakers and a pebble beach.
  • Punakaiki - Pancake Rocks & Blowholes further south at Paparoa National Park. Exceptionally interesting rock formations viewed from a paved trail.
  • Karamea - About 2 hr (90 km) drive to the north on State Highway 67, and the start (or finish) of the Heaphy Track. (There is no exit road from Karamea other than State Highway 67, so make it a day trip, at least.)

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