Westport (New Zealand)
Westport is at the mouth of the Buller River. It is about 5 km up State Highway 67 from the junction with State Highway 6.
When travelling from Nelson or Christchurch, take State Highway 6 from Inangahua Junction via the Buller Gorge to the junction with State Highway 67. Allow at least an hour for travelling the gorge. The road through the Buller Gorge is single lane in several places and frequently traveled by buses and trucks. Take care, be patient, and enjoy the scenery.
When travelling from Greymouth, take State Highway 6 along the coast via Punakaiki to the junction with State Highway 67. Allow 1.5 hours driving, plus set aside an hour to see the Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki.
Westport is a small town. Park your vehicle and use your feet.
- Cape Foulwind Hike starts just 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 Capt 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.
There are three galleries in Westport town, two retail galleries on the main street, Palm St Gallery and Honeycomb and also InterSpace Gallery, an exhibition space in an historic hotel which is one block from the main street www.arthotel.co.nz.
Also 26 km from Westport there is Granity, with Torea Gallery, Granity museum and op-shop and scenic beaches you could spend hours at.
Internet access is available, including WiFi, at the Public Library in town, during Library hours.
- 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.
- Pancake Rocks & Blowholes further south at Punakaiki, Paparoa National Park. Exceptionally interesting rock formations viewed from a paved trail.
- Karamea - About 1.5 hours (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.)
- Greymouth - the next sizeable town to the south