Visit Westport, West Coast, NZ

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  • Westport is the northern West Coast’s largest town, in a region known as Buller. The area has a long association with gold and coal mining; a heritage that today provides historical interest and activities.

    Westport is located on a wide area of flat land just north of Cape Foulwind, the site of a large seal colony. It is at the northern end of the Paparoa mountain range, through which State Highway 6 passes along the Buller Gorge towards Nelson.

    Westport’s mining and port heritage can be discovered through walking its Heritage Trail and visiting its Coaltown Museum, and also by visiting nearby gold and coal workings in areas where caving, rock climbing and white-water rafting are popular activities.

    Accommodation in Westport (NZ)

    Westport has many accommodation providers, including a selection of hotels, motels, lodges and bed & breakfast establishments.

    There are holiday parks and backpacker lodges for camping and budget travellers.

    Transport around Westport

    Westport is 75 minutes’ drive north of Greymouth, which is served by air, rail and coach services from Christchurch. There are regular air services from Wellington.

    The city of Nelson is about 2.5 hours’ drive from Westport, a route which passes the popular Nelson Lakes and travels through spectacular Buller Gorge.

    Local shuttle bus services connect with nearby destinations such as Punakaiki, Karamea, Charleston and Granity.

    Within Westport, there are taxi and bus services. Mountain bikes are available for hire.

    Tourist Activities around Westport

    Westport has a number of restaurants, cafes, bars and art/craft galleries. Other attractions include Westport’s Coaltown Museum and Heritage Walk. A working pottery and a Farmers Market on Saturdays are popular attractions. Guided tours of the town are available.

    There are some great walks along the coast north and south of the harbour, including walks to Cape Foulwind and its seal colony. Westport’s coast is excellent for surfing, and surf tours are available. Fishing from the shore is possible. Larger species can be caught from a fishing charter.

    Charleston, at the mouth of the Nile River, 20 minutes’ drive south of Westport, is the site of old gold workings. A “rainforest train” ride leads inland along a route established by miners to mining sites where visitors can participate in caving adventures.

    Granity, on the coast 20 minutes’ drive north of Westport is popular for its arts and crafts and is the location of the Northern Buller Museum.

    The Buller Gorge offers a range of adventure activities, including jet boating, white-water rafting, quad-bike (ATV) safaris, and horse trekking.

    • Scroll down for Westport accommodation & activity listings