Great Walks & multi-day adventures

Heaphy Track - Scotts Beach


The West Coast is home to two extraordinary walking adventures, the Paparoa Track and the Heaphy Track — 2 of the 10 trails in New Zealand’s famed network of Great Walks, spectacular multi-day journeys through remote alpine and coastal wilderness.

But that’s just the start. With more wilderness than anywhere else in New Zealand, including five national parks, the West Coast has a variety of other multi-day tramping tracks for fit and experienced hikers

The Heaphy Track, Kahurangi National Park

Tussock downs, lush rainforests and nīkau palms

From inland forests to high tussock downs and sandy beaches, the Heaphy Track travels a variety of rugged alpine and coastal landscapes between Golden Bay and Karamea. It can be walked in either direction and from the Karamea, West Coast side, it also offers several shorter there and back adventures.

● 78.4 km (4 - 6 days one way)

● Intermediate grade

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The Paparoa Track, Paparoa National Park

Limestone landscapes, alpine vistas, coastal rainforests

New Zealand’s 10th Great Walk, the Paparoa Track is a purpose-built, shared-use trail for walkers and mountain bikers. It traverses the alpine tops of the Paparoa Range between Blackball and Punakaiki, meaning there’s plenty of uphill and back down again.

● 56.2 km (3 days one way)

● Intermediate grade

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The Old Ghost Road, Westport

A legendary gold miners’ trail reborn

This epic backcountry adventure travels through forested valleys, along steep alpine ridges, beside roaring rivers, via 21 bridges and four ghost towns, between the rugged Upper Buller Gorge and coastal plains north of Westport.

● 85 km / 5 days

● Intermediate grade

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Multi-day adventures

From first-time overnighters to multi-day expeditions for experienced trampers, many West Coast walking tracks originated in early times, following historic Maori trails or goldminers’ dreams.

In Westland Tai Poutini National Park, the Copland Track climbs through verdant rainforests, boulder-hopping along the river and over a couple of swing bridges to spectacular alpine vistas and natural hot pools at Welcome Flat Hut.

● 36 km (7 hr each way)

● Intermediate grade

NOTE: While walking, tramping and hiking is a year-round activity on the West Coast, you should always check weather and track conditions before setting out. Always take warm, waterproof clothing as the weather can change rapidly. Check the DOC (Department of Conservation) website for full details on walking and hiking trails on the West Coast.

Learn More at DOC