Touring Routes

Nelson to Christchurch via Karamea

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




4 days,3 nights


489 mi / 788 km



Day One

4 hours 29 mins, 318 km

Day 1: Nelson to Karamea

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.

Around Westport and Karamea

Day Two

1 hour 27 mins, 95.7 km

Day 2: Karamea to Westport

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.

Around Westport and Karamea

Day Three

1 hour 51 mins, 132 km

Day 3: Westport to Greymouth

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).

Around Grey District

Day Four

3 hours 18 mins, 243 km

Day 4: Christchurch

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

Around Grey District

Itinerary Map


About the author

West Coast Tourism, .

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