Karamea & Wild West Coast Trails

Karamea & Wild West Coast Trails

7 day small group West Coast tour

Discover the byways, history and stories of the West Coast as you travel along miners’ trails to coal and gold rush towns and to where precious pounamu is found. Karamea, Kahurangi National Park and Okarito Lagoon are special highlights.

WHAT TRACY LOVES ABOUT THIS TOUR: Your Kiwi Guide will bring to life for you the colourful history of this isolated region, the setting for two Booker Prize winning novels – Eleanor Catton’s “The Luminaries” and “The Bone People” by Keri Hulme (a former resident of Okarito) and also Jenny Pattrick’s bestsellers, “The Denniston Rose” and “Heart of Coal”.

  • $3,990 (NZD) pp twin
  • $4,690 (NZD) pp single

Day 1

Fly to Nelson - Denniston - Karamea

From Nelson we drive through the Buller Gorge and onto Murchison for lunch.

Either today or on our return from Karamea we visit Denniston. Just beyond Westport we head up the hill to discover the harsh history of Denniston, recorded in photographs and stories on display panels. The derelict remains of the coalmine stand testament to the resilience of the miners and their families who lived in this unforgiving environment.

In Karamea The Last Resort Hotel is our home for two nights. We dine in this evening.

  • A glimpse into the lives of the Denniston miners 
  • Arriving in Karamea – the end of the West Coast Road

Accommodation

The Last Resort, Karamea

KARAMEA - THE LAST RESORT

Escape to the West Coast’s sunniest spot. To the East is native bush, palm trees, rain forest and the Kahurangi National Park, whilst to the West there’s nothing but the Tasman Sea. 

What we love about The Last Resort – 100% locally owned it’s great fun chatting to the interesting mix of local characters in the bar.

Day 2

Oparara Basin, Kahurangi National Park

With our guides we have time to enjoy getting to know this remote and beautiful northwestern tip of the Coast between the Tasman Sea and the rainforests.

First we visit the beautiful Oparara Basin in Kahurangi National Park and stroll through the forest to the Oparara Arch. Across a swing bridge over the Kohaihai River, at the start of the Heaphy Track, we walk a loop track through the nikau forest. At Clear Streams Karamea Nursery we meet the locals growing native plants to support the environment and the community.

  • Take a short walk on the Heaphy Track
  • With local guides visit the Oparara Basin

Accommodation

The Last Resort, Karamea

KARAMEA - THE LAST RESORT

Escape to the West Coast’s sunniest spot. To the East is native bush, palm trees, rain forest and the Kahurangi National Park, whilst to the West there’s nothing but the Tasman Sea. 

What we love about The Last Resort – 100% locally owned it’s great fun chatting to the interesting mix of local characters in the bar.

Day 3

Karamea - Reefton - Punakaiki

Explore the back roads to the pretty mining town of Reefton, the first town lit by electric street lights. Blackball, a small town at the foot of the Paparoa Range, is the home of unionism and nearby is the Brunner Mine memorial.

We stay two nights at the Scenic Hotel Punakaiki on the edge of the Tasman Sea and dine in both evenings.

  • Watch the sunset over the Tasman Sea 
  • Pretty and historic Reefton

Accommodation

Scenic Hotel Punakaiki

Punakaiki - Scenic Hotel

What a spot for our final night, we’re so close to the beach you can smell the sea air and hear the waves crashing on the shore. Just around the corner from the Pancake Rocks and tucked in beside our own little beach, most the world just passes on by.

What we love about Scenic Hotel Punakaiki – sharing a farewell drink on the beach right outside our rooms for our last sunset on tour.

Day 4

Punakaiki - Nile River - Tauranga Bay - Punakaiki

We take a short stroll out to the sculptured limestone stacks of Punakaiki’s Pancake Rocks – they make a dramatic sight and the coastal scenery is wonderful. At Charleston we ride the Nile River Canyon train through the rainforest in Paparoa National Park.

We visit the nearby seal colony at Tauranga Bay, close to Cape Foulwind before returning down the scenic coastal highway to Punakaiki.

  • Strolling out to the Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki
  • The Nile River rainforest train in Charleston

Accommodation

Scenic Hotel Punakaiki

Punakaiki - Scenic Hotel

What a spot for our final night, we’re so close to the beach you can smell the sea air and hear the waves crashing on the shore. Just around the corner from the Pancake Rocks and tucked in beside our own little beach, most the world just passes on by.

What we love about Scenic Hotel Punakaiki – sharing a farewell drink on the beach right outside our rooms for our last sunset on tour.

Day 5

Punakaiki - Lake Kaniere - Hokitika Gorge - Hokitika

With our local guide, we hear the pounamu and goldrush stories and call into Lake Kaniere and the Hokitika Gorge where a short walk takes us to the swing bridge over the river. Many artisans live in Hokitika and there’s an eclectic mix of galleries and shops displaying works in pounamu, gold, glass, paua, copper, stone, ruby rock and even socks.

We stay at the Beachfront Hotel for two nights and dine in this evening.

  • The beauty of Lake Kaniere and the Hokitika Gorge
  • Time to browse Hokitika’s artisan shops

Accommodation

Beachfront Hotel, Hokitika

HOKITIKA - BEACHFRONT HOTEL

A contemporary hotel located in the arts capital of the Westcoast. It’s easy to explore the charming craft galleries featuring jade, wood, gold, ruby, rock and precious metals.

What we love about Beachfront Hotel – The hotel is only a stone’s throw away from a stunning West Coast beach making for great West Coast sunset viewing.

Day 6

Hokitika - Okarito - Franz Josef Glacier - Hokitika

We visit Ross, renowned for a 3.09kg gold nugget found there in 1909. At Okarito we take an hour’s cruise with Swade out on the lagoon looking out for birdlife in untouched wetlands bordered by ancient forest giants.

Paula, our local guide takes us on a walking tour of this tiny settlement of 30 people. We call into Franz Josef to walk to the Glacier lookout before returning to Hokitika and dining in our hotel this evening.

  • Looking out for birdlife on the Okarito Lagoon
  • Walk to the Glacier lookout at Franz Josef

Accommodation

Beachfront Hotel, Hokitika

HOKITIKA - BEACHFRONT HOTEL

A contemporary hotel located in the arts capital of the Westcoast. It’s easy to explore the charming craft galleries featuring jade, wood, gold, ruby, rock and precious metals.

What we love about Beachfront Hotel – The hotel is only a stone’s throw away from a stunning West Coast beach making for great West Coast sunset viewing.

Day 7

Hokitika - Kumara - Arthur's Pass - Christchurch - Return flight

Travel along country roads to the old mining town of Kumara where we stop at the Theatre Royal Hotel, a fully restored goldminers’ hotel with a wonderful atmosphere and style.

We head up the spectacular Otira Viaduct and take short walks in Arthur’s Pass National Park. Continuing through magnificent alpine and river scenery and a walk among the limestone outcrops at Castle Hill Kura Tawhiti Conservation area. We descend Porter’s Pass to the Canterbury Plains and transfer to Christchurch Airport for the flight home.

  • Call into the historic Theatre Royal Hotel in Kumara
  • The limestone outcrops at Castle Hill Kura Tawhiti Conservation area

 

Next departures

Tour DatePrice (from)Availability
29 Nov 2024 - 05 Dec 2024
$3,990 (NZD)
Almost full
JUST 2 SEATS LEFT!
Enquire
24 Mar 2025 - 30 Mar 2025
$3,990 (NZD)
Filling up
Enquire
06 May 2025 - 12 May 2025
$3,990 (NZD)
Filling up
Enquire

General inclusions

  • All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers).
  • Services of your knowledgeable MoaTours Kiwi Guide.
  • Quality accommodation chosen for a “sense of place”.
  • Return airfares from Auckland (please ask us about flights from other airports)

All Meals Are Included

  • All Breakfasts
  • All Lunches
  • All Dinners

Included Experiences

The following are included in your tour.

Sightseeing & Exploring

You’ll visit all the following spots on the tour.

Please contact us if you have any questions about our tour departure dates.

Tour DatePrice (from)Availability
29 Nov 2024 - 05 Dec 2024
$3,990 (NZD)
Almost full
JUST 2 SEATS LEFT!
Enquire
24 Mar 2025 - 30 Mar 2025
$3,990 (NZD)
Filling up
Enquire
06 May 2025 - 12 May 2025
$3,990 (NZD)
Filling up
Enquire
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