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West Coast Attractions

Karamea - At the northern end of SH67 on the West Coast is the idyllic township of Karamea. The famous Heaphy Track is accessible about 15km further north past Caldervale.

Little Wanganui, Te Namu - Small settlements situated near the mouth of the Little Wanganui River. The surrounding mountains are covered in their original forest and tussock grasses.

Corbyvale - This is a small farming settlement primarily centred on dairy farming, but also producing tomatoes and tamarillo.

Waimaire, Seddonville - Small farming settlements – Seddonville was an important through point for rail to a goldmining battery at Mokihinui.

Hector-Ngakawau - Just out of Ngakawau there is a bridge with a road that turns left to the Charming Creek Walkway. A 45 minute walk leads to the Mangatini Falls.

Granity, Millerton, Stockton - The inland area from Mohikinui to Granity including the coast has many possibilities for spectacular walks.

Birchfield, Waimangaroa, Fairdown, Sergeants Hill - Birchfield is home to a sprawling wetland where wading birds can be observed. There's a scenic track that leads to the foothills of Mount William Range to Denniston, an abandoned coalmining town.

Carters Beach, Cape Foulwind - The cliff-top walk from Tauranga Bay to Cape Foulwind offers breathtaking views – the highlight of which has to be the seal colony.

Charleston - Charleston, once flourishing in the gold rush is now a popular destination for caving and rock-climbing. There are nearly 200 climbs to keep the keenest adventurer happy.

Punakaiki - With its fascinating rock formations like giant pancakes laid one on top of the other and majestic blowholes, Punakaiki is a popular place for tourists and locals alike. You can also go horse trekking and kayaking on the Porarari River.

Newton Flat, Lyell, Inangahua - Once a thriving farming and coalmining community, Inangahua was devastated by an earthquake in 1968 which left 70 percent of the dwellings in the town uninhabitable.

Larrys Creek, Cronadun, Waitahu - There's a fascinating hike to the site of an historic quartz mine. Along the way the track weaves through lush manuka and beech forest.

Taipoiti - There are some challenging trails in Taipoiti that take you to high, cascading waterfalls and incredible panoramas.

Ikamatua, Totara Flat, Raupo - This tiny community is situated beside a picturesque lagoon which is surrounded on three sides by forest, and faces the powerful Tasman Sea surf.

Ahaura, Matai, Ngahere, Blackball - Just south of Ikamatua is the historic mining settlement of Blackball. The Croesus Track, an old route to the gold diggings, starts here.

Stillwater, Taylorville - Stillwater was once a major logging and timber-milling area of the West Coast. It was mothballed for decades, but has recently been given a new lease of life.

Taylorville, Dobson - These settlements bear testament to the huge coal mining industry that existed in these parts from the 1850s until the 1960s.

Kaiata, Omoto - Another area with a long history in sawmilling. Some of the relics are still viewable to tell of its past.

Karoro, South Beach, Paroa, Gladstone, Shantytown - For a look into the history of this region, Shantytown is a beautifully restored 1860s West Coast gold mining town. There is a fantastic collection of artefacts and memorabilia presented in over 30 historic buildings.

Camerons - Camerons is well-known for its fishing charters to the rich fishing grounds off the coast and out over the deep sea ledges.

Awatuna - Awatuna lies next to the route of the TranzAlpine Express railway from Christchurch to Greymouth. There are many leisure activities to explore in and around this town.

Ross - This gold mining town produced the largest gold nugget ever found in NZ. Found in Jones Creek in 1909, it weighed just less than 100 ounces. This is a great place for a variety of things to see and do.

Harihari - If Harihari wasn't already on the map for gold mining, Guy Menzies made it so by crashing his plane ‘Southern Cross Junior' here in 1931. There is a commemorative plaque on SH6 to mark the incident.

Whataroa - Whataroa is the base for trips to the White Heron Sanctuary, one of the few breeding colonies of white herons (kotuku) in New Zealand. During the nesting season, local guides can take you to see the colony in the Waitangi Roto Nature Reserve.

The Forks, Okarito, Tatare - Okarito Lagoon is the largest unmodified wetland in New Zealand, covering 3,000 hectares of shallow open water and tidal flats. This is a great place for bird watching.

Franz Josef Glacier - Just 6km from the village, the glacier descends from the tops of the Southern Alps into rainforest at 300m above sea level. To get good views of the glacier, take a 20-minute return walk from the road car park on a well-formed track.

Fox Glacier - The Fox Glacier descends from the Southern Alps into temperate rainforest. Visitors of average fitness can easily walk most tracks in the area. Guided glacier walks, heli-hikes, snow landings and other scenic flight options are available.

Gillespies Beach - Here you can experience a thriving colony of New Zealand fur seals. Avoid getting too close – seals can bite!

Karangarua, Jacobs River, Bruce Bay, Mahitahi - A waters-edge settlement where you can stretch your legs with a walk on the beach. There are several historic landmarks here.

Lake Paringa, Lake Moeraki, Knights Point - Pause here for breathtaking views. Fur seals can often be spotted on distant beaches.

Makarora - Located beside Mount Aspiring National Park, Makarora is perfectly situated for access to scenic flights, river adventures and outdoor pursuits like fishing and wilderness walks.