Located on the West Coast of the South Island, Westport was settled as a gold mining town. The area is rich in minerals and coal, supporting the town’s growth and economy. There are many things to do in Westport, as the surrounding West Coast is full of outdoor adventures and stunning scenery.
How to get there:
Westport is about a 4 hour drive north west from Christchurch. There are two routes to choose from, both winding over the magnificent Southern Alps, which are postcard perfect in winter:
- Athurs Pass: Arthurs Pass has great scenery, steep roads and takes you through to Greymouth. Greymouth has a range of activities worth stopping for, including Shanty Town – a town recreated to show life in the early 1900’s. Westport is around 1.5 hours drive from there.
- Lewis Pass: Lewis Pass is a great route if you want to stop by Hanmer Springs and relax in the hot pools. The Pass then goes straight on to Westport.
Located near vast areas of native rainforest, and below the striking Southern Alps, allows for a wide range of Westport outdoor activities:
- Walks: There are many walks of varying lengths and difficulties within 20min drive of Westport. Depending on what you want to do, there are short bush walks up to several day tramps. You can easily arrange guided walks also. Highly recommended, just off the Lewis Pass highway is the Lake Daniells route. It is an easy 2 hour walk to the hut, with a well maintained track. This route is good for families and any experience level.
- Rivers: There are many rivers all along the West Coast, and most are great fishing spots. Whitebait is a delicacy that is caught in these rivers too. Usually turned into a patty and fried, Whitebait is often expensive or hard to find in shops as it is seasonal with strict regulations.
- Buller Gorge: Home to New Zealand’s longest swingbridge, the Buller Gorge is a breathtaking place to visit. From the swingbridge is the Cometline, an exciting but safe zip line ride across the gorge. The Buller Gorge is also offers jet boating, gold panning and many walks.
- Punakaiki “Pancake Rocks”: Less than an hour south of Westport is Punakaiki. Towering rock formations, caves and blow holes right on the edge of the ocean make for a dangerous but awe-inspiring sight. There is a walking track that loops through the rocks, allowing a close-up encounter with some serious surf; the walk takes about an hour. The Pancake Rocks are right on the side of the main highway with easy parking, a visitor centre and a café. A great half day trip.
Westport is a great destination or the perfect spot to stay the night if you are travelling from Greymouth to Nelson.
Come over and visit on your next break, and book your Westport accommodation with Bella Vista Motel Westport.