Make time for walking and cycling adventures

Northern West Coast provides some of the best recreational walking and cycling in New Zealand. The first two walkways described here are listed in the best 10 walks in the country.

Cape Foulwind Walkway

The Seal colony in Tauranga Bay is linked to the lighthouse at Cape Foulwind by this spectacular coastal walkway. An easy walk, taking 1hr 15mins one way.

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Charming Creek Walkway

Thistrail is rated one of the top 5 day walks in the South Island. 6.8 km long, it takes 3 hrs one way walking. Mountain biking: Intermed, Grade 3. A shorter walk starting from the Ngakawauend and going as far as the swing bridge, takes in the Mangatini Falls and will take about 2 hours return. Scenery and history combine in this delightful walk along an historic bush tramway, with wonderful views up and down the Ngakawau Gorge, over bridges and through dappled shade revealing relics. A gem of a walk!

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Kawatiri River Trail

Enjoy the new Kawatiri River Trail, which links the town, running along the Buller-Kawatiri River, with North Beach. Start at the Yacht club parking area and walk or bike across bridges and boardwalks over the lagoon and the track out to North Beach.

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Denniston Walking and Cycling Tracks

Explore the wild and remote environment of the Denniston Plateau north-east of Westport. The historic sights and wonderful interpretation panels present historic stories and provide a glimpse of times gone by. As well as the walking trails, there is several hours of riding on the marked MTB trails on the Denniston Plateau. A brochure and map of the tracks is available at the i-Site in Westport.

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Oparara Basin Arches Walks

The arches can be reached by a forestry road from the main road approximately 9 km north of Karamea. The 12 km road is rough but can be accessed by normal cars most of the year. A carpark with a modern open shelter and toilet facilities just before the bridge over the Oparara River is the starting point for walks of around an hour return to each of the arches.

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Heaphy Track

One of NZ’s Great Walks, the Heaphy Track becomes NZ’s Great Ride during the winter months. It is 82 km long, taking about 4 days and 3 nights walking or 2 or 3 days mountain biking (1May – 30 November only) There are a number of well graded tracks at the beginning of the Heaphy as you cross the Kohaihai River bridge: an easy 20 minute Nikau Palm loop walk, a 2 hour return walk to Scotts Beach, or a 5 hour return to Katipo Creek Shelter. Highly recommended!

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The Old Ghost Road

The 85km-long Old Ghost Road, a long forgotten gold miners’ road, traverses majestic native forest, open tussock tops, river flats and forgotten valleys, connecting the old dray road in the Lyell (Upper Buller Gorge) to the mighty Mokihinui River in the north. The Old Ghost Road is a Grade 4 (advanced) mountain biking trail where bikers will experience a mixture of long steep climbs, narrow trail, poor traction and difficult obstacles to avoid or ride over. The outer edge of the trail may be exposed with steep sides or drop-offs in places. Most riders will find some sections easier to walk.

More info here