Karamea, The West Coast, South Island, New Zealand

"Photo by Paul Murray"

Karamea is the most northern town on the West Coast

Way up north as far as you can drive; you’ll arrive at the warmest,
driest place on the wonderful West Coast.
Karamea has a great climate year round and the drive from Westport
is spectacular, so take your time,stop often and
enjoy the many interesting spots along the way.
Nestled between the densely forested mountains of the
Kahurangi National Park and the wild Tasman Sea.

Karamea is a geographical island paradise, connected to the rest of New Zealand by the stunningly scenic 100-kilometre “bridge” road north of Westport.

"Photo by Paul Murray"

DSC_0019The road to Karamea is one of the most beautiful drives in the world
and affords stunning views of the Tasman coast,river valleys,
verdant forest and jagged mountain ranges.

 The journey takes you along the coast through the charming seaside villages of Granity, Ngakawau and Hector and across the Mohikuniui River before heading into the mountains of the Kahurangi National Park, you'll pass ancient tree giants, beneath majestic tree ferns and go high over the Karamea Bluff before
dropping into the broad alluvial coastal plain at Little Wanganui.

 You'll pass happily grazing dairy herds on lush green pasture, the expansive Otumahana Lagoon and over the mighty Karamea River before arriving in the beautiful hamlet of Karamea...getting there is just the beginning of your adventure.


"Photo by Paul Murray"

In Karamea you’ll find the Oparara Basin Arches, and the largest limestone arch in the Southern Hemisphere.
Limestone caves with glow worms and the bones of a giant moa, rushing rivers to raft, forests to explore,
mountains to climb and beaches to roam…Karamea is often referred to at the West Coast’s “best kept secret.”

"Photo by Paul Murray"

Enjoy the mild climate, beautiful surrounings and wonderful sunsets.
Wander the miles of sandy beaches, do some fishing, take a walk, play golf, or just spend a relaxing family holiday.
For the more adventurous there is rafting, kayaking, helicopter flights, mountain biking, caving and tramping
or visit the limestone caves with magnificent arches.

Karamea has a range of accommodation, restaurants and cafés and petrol pump.
 The Information Centre will give you all the local information you need.

The road north ends a few kilometres north of Karamea, not far from the western end of the Heaphy Track.


  • Oparara Basin
  • Heaphy Track,
  • Karamea Gorge
  • Mt Stormy Track
  • Fenian Track
  • Lake Hanlon
  • Honeycomb Caves
  • Museum
  • bird watching
  • fishing
  • surfing
  • kayaking
  • rafting
  • bush walks
  • mountain climbing
Karamea evening
"Photo by Paul Murray"

All photos kindly supplied courtesy Paul Murray. These photos are copyright.
If you would like to order any of these photos please contact Paul Murray at  rongo@actrix.co.nz