St Arnaud

A place to get away from it all

Eels under the At Arnaud Jetty

St Arnaud is located on the shore of Lake Rotoiti and is a gateway and base to experience and explore the Nelson Lakes National Park. You can canoe, powerboat, water ski, windsurf and swim in the lakes in summer. In Winter, ski on the nearby Rainbow Valley Ski-field, or just curl up by the fire in one of homestays to enjoy the scenery are the activities for winter. Hiking is popular year around though the tracks can be very wet in winter.

Lakes Rotoiti and Rotoroa are the defining characteristics of the area. With beech forest to the shores around

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A rural place in between

The town of Murchison (pop 750) is near the junction of the Matakitaki and Buller Rivers, surrounded by rugged mountain ranges, and is situated on the Buller Gorge Heritage Highway some 125km south of Nelson and 300kms northwest of Christchurch.

Reflections in the mist outside of town

The town was founded on gold and saw milling and is now an important service centre for the travelling public as well as the local farming, forestry and recreation community.

In 1929 ten people died during the Murchison earthquake and the Murchison Museum has a special display about this disaster. In the quake the settlement was lifted almost half a metre, and the Murchison

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Where you’ll find the pancake rocks

Punakaiki is a recreation area situated just over a half hours drive north from Greymouth, or south from Westport on the coastal road. Punakaiki for most people makes for a good break to get some fresh air and walk out to the pancake rocks, (good wheelchair access) to view the unusual pancake rock formations and the blow-holes from which columns of sea water can spray up in favourable sea conditions as in the video below.

There is a an excellent visitor centre with information on the area from early history, geology, and information on walkways within the Paparoa National Park and this whole coastline was infamous as

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A region left out

Westland is an area bounded by the Southern Alps to the east and the Tasman Sea to the west is only 10 miles wide by some 600 miles long. At one time this region had more hotels than any other per head of population. The town of Westport once had 26 hotels on its main street, now it may have only 5.

Places to visit are the museums in most towns for relics of pioneer life. The pancake rock formations at Punakaiki. Shanti-town near the town of Greymouth, where you can pan for gold and see how the early settlers lived. There are opportunities to walk and climb in the valleys, mountains

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The north of the west

North of Westport, Karamea is a secluded haven at the northern end of the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island, flanked by the bush clad mountains of Kahurangi National Park to the north and east, with the Tasman Sea to the west. For many visitors, this may be a pleasant day trip from Westport however the are has much to offer those keen to explore.

Karamea is the place to go when you really need to getaway. It has a mild climate and beautiful surroundings with many natural features to be explored. There is tramping, (hiking), caving, geology, hunting, fishing, canoeing, or just relaxing.

Heaphy Track: walk the 80km

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A place time tries to forget

Tauranga Bay, 20 mins drive west of Westport where there is a seal colony and coastal walkway.

Westport is the largest town and commercial centre for the Buller District in north Westland. It sits at the mouth of the Buller River which is one of New Zealand’s largest rivers.

The town was founded on gold mining and later coal which is still mined in the district. Westport also has is a large cement factory and agriculture plays an important part of the local economy with dairying, beef cattle and sheep farming.

It is also a fishing port which is large enough to be served by coastal trading ships and the occasional cruise

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Paparoa NP

A diverse landscape

Driving the Buller Gorge

Located on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island, Paparoa National Park extends from the Buller River in the north almost to Greymouth in the south encompassing most of the Parapoa mountain range with a highest peak being Mount Uriah at 1,501m (4,925 ft), and there are a number of other peaks are higher than 1,200m most of which are covered in temperate rain forest.

A Scientifically Significant Park This park was established in 1987, and is an impressive (though small) addition to the national park family of New Zealand. With 30,000 hectares of unique bush, mountains, coasts and waterways, it is a very special place in New Zealand. The

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