Buller - the northern West Coast
The Buller District is the "Top of the West Coast", north of Hokitika. See two of the West Coast's natural icons - Karamea's Oparara Arches and Punakaiki's Pancake Rocks - as well as fur seals at Cape Foulwind near Westport and the unique town of Reefton.
Karamea and the Oparara Arches - 3.5 hours from Hokitika
The area of Karamea borders Kahurangi National Park and is a natural wonderland with caving, birdwatching, mountain biking, fishing and hunting, kayaking and rafting opportunities.
One of the best short walks in the area is to the Oparara Arches. There are guided walks and kayaking into the Oparara Arch and Cave and the Honeycomb Hill Caves from Karamea. You feel like you have entered another world when you visit – it is beauty born of a million years of isolation.
Cape Foulwind and fur seals - 2 hours from Hokitika
Near Buller's main centre of Westport, the Cape Foulwind walk takes you over a prominent headland overlooking the Tasman Sea and at the southern end is one of New Zealand’s most accessible NZ fur seal colonies.
You can watch the seals swimming and dozing year round but the best viewing is between October and March when the big bull seals return to mate and the pups are at their most playful.
Punakaiki and the Pancake Rocks - 1.25 hours from Hokitika
Visit one of the West Coast's most popular natural attractions - Punakaiki's Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. They are world famous and yes they really do look like giant pancakes! The 20 minute loop track to Dolomite Point gives the best views of the 30 million year old limestone formations.
The impressive blowholes are at their best at high tide – ask at the Paparoa National Park i-SITE about the tide times.
Reefton - 1.5 hours from Hokitika
On the Lewis Pass road, making for a beautiful drive through the mountains. In 1888, it was the first town in the Southern Hemisphere to have electric streetlights!
Now a curious mix of old and new, it's still a preserve of historic charm and the local bearded miners are very interesting folk to chat with.
More Information on the Buller Region
Image = ©Christopher Crouzet under license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode, image cropped