Walk the Truman Track near Punakaiki

The Truman Track is a short, 1.5km amble through native bush to a small, picturesque beach.

Truman Track, Te Miko, West Coast

  • 1.5km
  • Easy
  • 30 mins return

The Truman Track is a short, 1.5km amble through native bush to a small, picturesque beach.

Several bus tours and local day tour operators include this track in their itinerary, or you can visit it independently.

The track is well formed and considered ‘easy’. It is suitable for children.

A few minutes’ (3kms) drive north of Punakaiki you will find the start of the Truman Track. The track begins in dense, pleasant sub-tropical forest where you will find excellent examples of many native New Zealand trees including rata, matai, rimu and nikau palms. Native birds including tui, bellbirds, kereru and weka can be heard and often seen all the way along this track.

After several minutes in the forest the track emerges into the open, with dense flax bushes growing on either side of the path. Enjoy a lengthy, quiet stroll through this section of the track and you will almost certainly encounter some weka (ground-dwelling) and other birds (landing on the flax) at close range.

The track ends at a cliff overlooking the wild Tasman Sea. There are barriers in place, for safety purposes, and a bench seat. From here, you can also continue (carefully) down a short (sometimes slippery) staircase to Truman Beach: a small, picturesque beach that adds a pleasant 10 minutes or so to your walk. Truman Beach should only be accessed at low tide. At high tide, be very careful as the water comes quickly into the beach and can be very dangerous.

Make your way around the beach to see fascinating rock formations and a pretty waterfall. There are great photo opportunities here.

To finish, follow Truman Track back the way you’ve come, to the main road.

Track Fact: The track was named after Greymouth man Jim Truman who created the track in the 1950s. Strict government instructions stated that ‘no tree or shrub should be removed or destroyed’ in the process. So, over the course of the two year construction, Truman carefully uprooted and repositioned every tree that sat along the proposed route!