Cape Foulwind Walkway

Westport & Buller Walks

Cape Foulwind Walkway

WESTPORT & BULLER WALKS

Westport — a bustling town perched between a dramatic coastline, hill country and mountain ranges — is the perfect base ‘camp’ for the many walking and hiking trails throughout the surrounding Buller district.

Take a short walk, follow a hiking trail or a tramping track to discover wild seascapes and rivers, gentle rainforests, deep canyons and curious wildlife, or learn about days gone by on heritage trails to historic landmarks.

CAPE FOULWIND WALKWAY & SEAL COLONY

Dramatic coastal headland, NZ fur seals and lighthouse

An easy walk from sheltered Tauranga Bay leads to viewing platforms overlooking the seal colony. The track continues along the cliff top to the historic Cape Foulwind lighthouse.

  • 10 min or 1 hr 30 min return
  • Easy, well formed trail
Seal & Mt Cook & Mt Tasman in background, 3 mile lagoon Okarito

KAWATIRI COASTAL TRAIL, WESTPORT

Heritage trail, coastal wilderness, wildlife, wetlands

This new family-friendly trail for cyclists and walkers will soon connect Westport with Charleston via Carters Beach, Cape Foulwind and Tauranga Bay. Three sections are fully open with completion of six more sections during 2023/24.

  • 19.5 km (final trail will be 55km)
  • Easy, well formed trail
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KAWATIRI RIVER TRAIL, WESTPORT

Forest and river trail to a lagoon and swimming beach

Walk (or bike) through a beautiful bush reserve, then follow the Buller-Kawatiri River to the fishing port and over a boardwalk to great views of Westport, the river and mountains. An optional loop track continues to a lagoon and beach.

  • 4.5 km | 1 hr return
  • Easy, well formed trail
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CONSTANT AND JOYCE BAYS, CHARLESTON

Coastal rock formations, ocean views

Charleston was once a busy gold mining community based around picturesque Constant Bay. The short loop walk above the historic harbour and stony beach leads to dramatic views of the ocean pounding against rocky cliffs.

  • 15 min loop
  • Easy, some exposed sections and drops
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Joyce Bay Westport

DENNISTON TOWN WALK

Circuit through an abandoned mining settlement

Walk back 100 years on the Denniston Plateau (18km northeast of Westport) on a short loop track through the once infamous 19th century coal mining settlement where families eked out a precarious living in extreme conditions.

  • 1.3 km | 40 min loop
  • Easy
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BRAKEHEAD WALK, DENNISTON

Coal mining relics, dramatic views from top of Denniston Incline

Check out the remains of the infamous Denniston Incline — once known as the 8th engineering wonder of the world — with its heart-stopping downhill tracks and breathtaking views across the coastal plains to the Tasman Sea.

  • 1.1 km | 40 min loop
  • Easy
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The Brakehead- Top of the Denniston Incline

COALBROOKDALE WALK, DENNISTON

Historic coal mining tunnels and relics

Follow the historic cable-car rope road that carried coal from the mines to the top of the Denniston Incline. Relics include tunnels, foundations, a haulage winch and New Zealand’s best remaining example of a mine fanhouse.

  • 2 km | 1 hr return
  • Easy

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BRITANNIA TRACK, DENNISTON

An uphill forest track, an abandoned gold mine

An old pack track climbs steadily through varied forest of rātā, rimu and kahikatea to the abandoned Britannia gold mine, complete with an impressive five-head quartz crushing battery and ancillary mining relics.

  • 12 km | 4 hr return
  • Easy
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Denniston incline

CURRENTLY CLOSED: DENNISTON BRIDLE PATH WALK

Uphill bush walk, coal mining relics, magnificent views

Nobody lives here any more but the infamous Denniston Plateau is still flush with old coal mining relics and the remains of the 19th century coal mining settlement. The steep bush walk up the old bridle path (the only access in days past) leads to the top of the renowned gravity-powered Denniston Incline and magnificent views of the coast below.

  • 4.2 km | 5.5 hr return
  • Steep slippery sections, creek crossings
  • Recommended for hikers with a good level of fitness
  • Check DOC website for an update on track status
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CHARMING CREEK NORTH WALKWAY, SEDDONVILLE

Bush tramway route to historic mines and sawmills, Mangatini Falls

Walk along an abandoned bush tramway through a forested gorge to spectacular views of the 25-metre high Mangatini Falls. Pass through old railway tunnels, over bridges, past the relics of old coal mines and sawmills.

  • 11 km | 4hr return
  • Easy walking track
  • Note: Charming Creek is not currently accessible from the southern end (Charming Creek South Walkway) which starts near Ngakawau.
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THE OLD GHOST ROAD, SEDDONVILLE

An old gold miners’ trail, 21 bridges, 4 ghost towns

In Kahurangi National Park, this epic backcountry adventure travels through forested valleys, along steep alpine ridges, beside roaring rivers, via ghost towns and multiple bridges, between the rugged Upper Buller Gorge and coastal plains north of Westport.

  • 85 km | 5 days
  • Intermediate grade
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Breathtaking views on The Old Ghost Road - Photo by Phil Rossiter