Westport is a coastal township located near the mouth of the Buller River. While keeping its small town feel, there is a large town centre with restaurants and cafes, services and accommodation in Westport that you would expect to find in a much larger town.
There is also an airport in Westport with direct flights to and from Wellington.
For a great family swimming spot, head to Carters Beach where there is a park, playground and nearby golf course. Another family activity is a visit to the aquatic and sports facility which features pools and a gym - among other things.
We are quite the surf town and very passionate about it, with 2 surf schools we surf and take lessons and hires 365 days of the year, with great beaches for all levels. There are 3 surf beaches within 5 mins from town, all with beach breaks. We even have a fresh water wave to surf in the mighty Buller river at shingles beach on a good northerly.
There are another 15 great surf spots 20 mins from Westport. We have the warm Tasman current that hits us so the water never gets that cold, with World class waves and consistent swells all year round. Surf with Dolphins in Summer and Autumn. Westport also have some great scenic bike/walking track in and around the town suitable for all ages and levels.
Our favourite natural wonder in Westport is the Cape Foulwind Walk (16km southwest of Westport) at Tauranga Bay. One of many walks near Westport, it 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. There are some great events in Westport.
The Westport Whitebait Festival is held each year in October, and the Buller Gorge Marathon and half marathon in February is one of the most scenic marathons in New Zealand. Westport is an ideal base to explore the untamed natural wilderness of our beautiful West Coast.