Nelson to Christchurch via Karamea

Tourism West Coast

Heading south? Head west on this epic road trip journey from Nelson to Christchurch via the West Coast.





543 mi / 875 km



Day One: 4 hours 40 mins, 318 km

Day 1: Nelson to Karamea

About the day

Drive to Karamea from Nelson.

Stop in Murchison to go for a ride on the Buller Canyon Jet.

Take a walk on the Buller Swing bridge

Explore the Oparara Arches just outside of Karamea.

Stay the night in Karamea.


Day Two: 1 hour 37 mins, 95.7 km

Day 2: Karamea to Westport

About the day

Explore Cape Foulwind seal colony.

Go on an adventure with Johnny’s Journeys and see wild red deer.

Learn to surf at Bazils Hostel & Surf School.

Float through a glow worm cave with Underworld Adventures.

Stay the night in Westport.


Day Three: 1 hour 53 mins, 132 km

Day 3: Westport to Greymouth

About the day

Explore the West Coast as you drive south on The Great Coast Road, voted by Lonely Planet as one of the top ten drives in the world.

Wander the paths around the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes – the West Coast’s most visited natural attraction.

Take a tour at Monteiths Brewery.

Explore Shantytown.

Stay the night in Greymouth or Lake Brunner (Moana).


Day Four: 4 hours 13 mins, 330 km

Day 4: Christchurch

About the day

Finish your road trip and hop on the Tranz Alpine train to head through Arthur's Pass, finishing off in Christchurch.


Itinerary Map

About the author

Tourism West Coast, .

We love the West Coast! Our passion is promoting our awesome region both here in New Zealand and around the world.