Westport in the South Island of New Zealand is located at the Northern bank at the mouth of River Buller. The town has rich history with settlements dating back to 950A.D. The growth is the town and surrounding areas is mainly attributed to mining. Since the 1800s, the area’s economy has been driven by gold and coal mining. However, other economic activities including tourism have gained popularity. Westport is a beautiful place with numerous natural attractions.
Westport is a main gateway by road to several South Island towns including Greymouth, the largest town on the Island; and Karamea one of the most visited tourist destinations. The railway extends to the towns of Christchurch and Greymouth. Westport airport is serviced by two daily flights to Wellington and Christchurch. There is also a bus service within town and connecting it to other towns. However, to get to all the best places, you need to hire a car.
The Coaltown museum is an interesting historical feature in town. It tells of the Buller district history. Furthermore, it has a simulated mine experience that will be fun to indulge in. The Cape Foulwind is 10km from town and will need you to hire a car in Westport. However, the trek is well worth it especially if the fog starts to roll in. the view is magnificent and the feeling exhilarating. Carter’s beach is also within Cape Foulwind. This is the safest beach in the Southern Island. Nearby is a famous fur seal breeding colony.
Westport is surrounded by famous attractions. You need a strong vehicle form a car rental in Westport to access most of these places. The Heaphy track in the Kahurangi National Park near Karamea starts or ends at Kohaihai River. Some other popular activities near Karamea include river rafting and fishing on different river and lakes. Pancake rocks and blow holes in Punakaiki are also within a driving distance of Westport town.
You can take a ride to Abel Tasman National Park located near Matueka is a great place to visit. This is the smallest of parks in New Zealand. Activities in this park include sightseeing, camping, kayaking and swimming on the beach. Hanmer hot springs located between Westport and Christchurch are interesting attractions. The hot springs hold an allure that is enhanced by bungee jumping, bush walking and mountain bicycling. The fox and Franz Joseph glaciers are other breathtaking must-visit places. Both these glaciers are within the Westland Tai Poutini National Park.
To fully enjoy the South Island of New Zealand, you need to rent a car in Westport. Make sure the car is strong enough to handle the rough terrain associated with majority of the attractions.
23 March 2019
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