GETTING AROUND: STAY IN KEY LOCATION AREAS
WHERE TO STAY ON THE WEST COAST, SOUTH ISLAND is all about location. Location, location, location says it all. You need to be conveniently located next to your bucket list attractions and / or not in a position where unnecessary time is spent travelling from one activity to another. Unpack, unwind and unforgettable West Coast invites visitors to breathe deeply and relax.
The best place to stay for accessing your desired attractions is heavily influenced by the geography of the West Coast. Stay options are threaded along the coastal strip of the South Island known as the West Coast. From northern Karamea and the Oparara Cave systems to Glacier country the connecting thread is state highway six.
West Coast inland is Lake Brunner and the holiday town of Moana as well as a network of 19th century gold mining settlements where accommodation options can be limited to holiday parks, air BNB and aging hotels.
WHY STAY IN WESTPORT?
Westport is connected with state highway six as it swings past the stupendously beautiful Buller Gorge, the Old Ghost trail. From Westport is convenient access to
- Denniston Plateau (top ten attraction on the West Coast)
- Karamea & Oparara cave / arch rock forms
- Buller Gorge and its attractions
WHY STAY IN GREYMOUTH & HOKITIKA?
The two towns are less than ½ hour drive from each other providing lots of opportunities to choose accommodation that suits your budget and is conveniently located.
WHERE TO STAY FOR HERITAGE FANS?
Heritage fans a day or so in Westport and Hokitika are recommended, follow the Great Coast Road trip and enjoy the byways with the stories of human endeavour.
- Denniston Plateau
- Westport Coal Museum
- Gold mining trails and the small towns of Kumera, Ross, Blackball …
- Hokitika pounamu trails
- Greymouth floodwalls and importance of the port
WHERE TO STAY FOR NATURE / OUTDOORS LOVERS?
Nature / Outdoors buffs Karamea, Westport and Greymouth/Hokitika, Glacier Country with Lake Brunner are all good places to stay. The West Coast is scenery plus from tip to toe wilderness views vie for your attention.
- Karamea and Oparara caves, it not easy travelling to the end of the road take the time to soak in the staggering natural beauty of the area
- Westport with its receding coastline, Buller Gorge
- Lake Brunner inland lush forest and glorious Lake Moana
- Greymouth / Hokitika inland lush forests and coastal treasures Punakaiki, Paparoa National Park, Lake Kaniere and Lake Mahinapua birdlife
- Glacier Country unmissable glaciers, mirrored lakes and waterfalls of the Haast Pass
Ideally your holiday allows for several days in all locations… Westport (Karamea), Hokitika Greymouth and Glacier Country.
Unpack in a central location such as Hokitika or Greymouth and expect to spend time driving. In winter with the shorter daylight hours this is not ideal. In summer, yes, it is possible.
Yes, you can, however you will encounter narrow gravel roads, for instance a trip into Waiuta ghost town.
A central location either Hokitika or Greymouth particularly if your visit is less than 2 / 3 days.
Check travelling distances for bucket list destinations BEFORE booking to ensure you are not going to spend too much of your holiday’s precious time driving even though the scenery is gorgeous. And an essential tool is your West Coast Travel Guide for the best places to visit and key attractions.
ACCOMMODATION, WHERE TO STAY – A TOUCH OF ROMANCE
Rimu Lodge Hokitika Boutique luxury accommodation nestled in native bush, yet only a 10 minutes drive from Hokitika. Rates inclusive of continental breakfast.
Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge The stunning natural setting of Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki, surrounded by lakes, rivers, rainforest and seacoast in the heart of Te Wahipounamu, the southwest New Zealand World Heritage Area.
Breakers Boutique Accommodation located on the Punakaiki coastline overlooking the Tasman Sea, a boutique bed & breakfast that offers panoramic sea views. Close to the Paparoa Track and West Coast Wilderness Trail and numerous other shorter hiking and biking trail options.
HOKITIKA FIRE STATION built 1866 now funky motel style accommodation. A top pick for Hokitika for its quirky character, location and well thought out facilities.
TEICHELMANN’S BED AND BREAKFAST (HOKITIKA) is a cute historic home now a gracefully restored B&B with every room ensuite. Charming Victorian elegance restored into contemporary comfort.
QUIRKY PLACES TO STAY
BAZILS HOSTEL & SURF SCHOOL – WESTPORT
It honestly doesn’t come much better than this for getting yourself organised on a budget. Bazil’s Hostel and surf school is your gateway to surfing, paddle boarding, hiking, kayaking, mountain biking and caving adventures. Located in the centre of Westport just behind the i-SITE and bus stop.
Denniston Plateau is on your bucket list, then this is a great place to easily access the Plateau. And don’t forget to check out the Westport Coal Museum, an absolute must for visitors
TE-PAHIKA – GREYMOUTH
Doesn’t the sound of a crashed railway carriage sound quirky? Restored into unique accommodation, complete with kitchen, bathroom and rustic outdoor bath it’s a great place to stargaze as you soak in your own personal outdoor setting.
15 minutes south of Greymouth
Hurunui Jacks | Canopy Camping glamping with style just 12 km from Hokitika, Luxury canvas tent with wood burning stove rests on the banks of the Kaniere River. Tucked up in your comfortable bed, lie back and listen to the sounds of the bush.
Hokitika Kiwi Holiday Park and Motels – HOKITIKA
A modern holiday park with bells and whistles offers Motel, Unit’s and Camping accommodation.
Ross beach top ten holiday park, on the beach
Accommodation and amenities are in repurposed and upcycled shipping containers… It’s amazing how much comfort you can fit into a small space… Blissfully relaxed amongst our natural landscape of NZ Flax.
Jackson’s Retreat Alpine Holiday Park is the only Camping, Caravan, Motor Home/RV Holiday Park on the Great Alpine Highway 73 linking Christchurch on the East Coast with the beautifully diverse West Coast and Glacier Region. There are 15 acres of terraced non-powered, powered and tent sites. Go camping against the mountain backdrop. For those not yet ready for the full camping experience there are ensuite cabins available. There are large covered barns for tents, just in case it rains (a lot).
CHARLESTON LODGE (PAPAROA NATIONAL PARK) is located midway between Westport & Punakaiki Pancake Rock. An excellent hub for the top attractions in modern standard rooms, ensuite as well as rooms with shared facilities.
WHERE TO STAY IN KARAMEA
For a touch of comfort KARAMEA VILLAGE HOTEL is recommended. Check out Karamea village hotel to book. Judged “Best Country Hotel 2011” by Hospitality New Zealand (HNZ). The restored landmark hotel is located in the heart of the village. Very helpful and enthusiastic hosts will make you think about returning.
For those on a budget check out Karamea Memorial Domain and Camping Grounds to book.
There are powered and non-powered camping sites, full range of facilities and standard motel accommodation. For overnight accommodation in Karamea forward bookings are strongly recommended in the peak season.
WHERE TO STAY IN WESTPORT, SOUTH ISLAND
BUDGET ACCOMMODATION WESTPORT, SOUTH ISLAND
Backpacker 14 persons accommodation. Award winning for solar power and sustainability practices.
Westport Kiwi Holiday Park – TOP PICK
Superbly managed holiday park with powered, non-powered sites, cabins, ensuite cabins and chalets, has the mini golf course as part of its attractions along with an aviary and extensive playground.
Motel style budget accommodation. Modern contemporary functional building. Serves lunch and dinner public dining as well as house guests.
Bazil’s Hostel & Surf School – TOP PICK
The perfect place for those who want to surf. A budget hostel that caters for the surfing fraternity The enterprising owners hire kayaks, surf boards, SUP, bikes as well as organising bespoke, designed by the Bazil’s team rainforest trips.
MID-RANGE ACCOMMODATION WESTPORT, SOUTH ISLAND
Modern, well maintained motel units, has onsite restaurant serving classic New Zealand fare
BULLER COURT MOTEL – TOP PICK
Immaculately clean, well maintained motel.
Well maintained older style town motel close to main attraction, Coal Museum.
National New Zealand wide motel chain with excellent standards in hygiene and presentation. The rooms are a tad bland however comfortable and clean.
Beautiful location, comfortable, well appointed king studio units with views of the Tasman Sea and Paparoa ranges.
Exclusive accommodation, boutique bed and breakfast. Beautiful Victorian villa is a romantic spot for couples or friends wishing to get away from it all. Set in half an acre of gardens in the centre of Westport.
High quality purpose built accommodation including a continental breakfast in your room overlooking the 14th Hole of Kawatiri Golf Course. Just step off the deck & onto the course.
BEST BITS TRAVEL GUIDE
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