Karamea, West Coast, New Zealand www.karameaholidayhomes.co.nz

Bush Lounge, cafe, restaurant and bar

Karamea Museum

Karamea Library

Karamea Tourist Information Centre

Map of Karamea

Local wildlife

Karamea Swimming Pool

About Karamea

Karamea is the gateway to the Kahurangi National Park and is at the western end of the famous Heaphy and Wangapeka Tracks.

This area is a natural wonderland of spectacular rainforests, limestone caves, pristine rivers and wild ocean views.

Karamea is at the end of the road, at the Northern end of New Zealand's South Island's West Coast. It rests on the flats of the Karamea River and the coastal plain.  It takes approximately one and half hours along the scenic road state highway 67, from Westport.

The area is lush with native bush, Nikau palms, ferns, caves, rivers, alluvial flats, as well as beautiful long stretches of accessible sandy beaches, that border the Tasman Sea.

The huge expanse of Kahurangi National Park lies to the north-east of Karamea.  Abundant fishing opportunities can be had in the ocean. Fish for whitebait, flounder and snapper, as well as trout in the rivers.  

Karamea with its mild climate and beautiful surroundings has that relaxed "off the beaten track" feeling not often found nowadays.

The surrounding area has a lots of natural features to please everybody, whether you are a tramper, caver, botanist, geologist, hunter, fisherman or just looking for a quiet, relaxing spot to spend a family holiday.

Karamea was  originally set up as a government-sponsored 'special settlement' in 1874. The picturesque farmland is nestled between lush forested mountain ranges on one side and the wild Tasman Sea on the other, stretching up the river valleys and along the coastline for 35 kms.
Many different activities are available in Karamea and its surrounding area, such as rafting, canoeing, kayaking or swimming in the rivers and estuary. Try out the local nine hole golf course by the  sea.  Mountain bike the 27 km return trip K-Road developed on the old logging roads.

Indulge your interests in historical sites, bird watching or botany. Other local facilities include tennis, horse trekking, helicopter scenic flights, and tramping.

The village of Market Cross hosts a Supermarket, numerous craft outlets and cafés, general store and hardware store, as well as the post office, a Tourist Information Centre, centennial museum and restaurants.

Tours can be booked to explore the Oparara Caves and limestone arches, at the Tourist Information Centre in Market Cross.  

The Heaphy Track is one of New Zealand's Great Walks. Take a few hours to explore the southern end where Nikau forests border the wild West Coast beaches.

The local tourist Information Centre has friendly staff that can assist you with transport, accommodation, food and services, as well as finding the right activities to suit your needs.

They can also show you where the best fishing beaches or rivers are, where to go for short walks or five day tramps, how to go rafting or kayaking, hire a bike or organise a helicopter flight, have a game of golf or bowls, or simply stroll along the beach and catch one of Karamea famous sunsets.
We have fascinating limestone caves and magnificent arches, ancient forests, roaring river gorges, quiet lagoons, and miles of beaches.

Karamea is an 90 minute drive north of Westport on State Highway 67, a 4.5 hours drive from Nelson or a 6 hour drive from Christchurch.

KARAMEA... Paradise found….

What to do

WalksThere are many different walks to do depending upon your age ability and interests.  In Karamea you can enjoy the solitude and the sunsets.

MuseumThe local museum is full of very interesting local and family history, with a great   collection of old photographs and maps.
Opening times - five days a week over the summer, and open on demand over the winter months. Call at the Information Centre or note phone numbers to call on the Museum door.

There are several estuaries at the Karamea and Oparara River mouths.  The bird life is strong, with pied stilts, black swans, and oyster catchers, blue and sometimes white herons.  The estuaries are a combination of sand and mud, where you can walk for miles at low tide.
Beware of the tide though as it rises and falls very quickly. 

There  is  a  wide variety of fishing that can be  enjoyed in Karamea, including  white  baiting, trout river  fishing,  as  well as  ocean fishing.

Last Resort Spa
The Last Resort has a spa available for public use. You will need your swim suit, but towels are provided. $10.00 per person.  Key and bookings at the Last Resort office.

South Terrace
You can take a drive up on to the South Terrace from the turn off at Maori Point. This is where Karamea's early settlers first established themselves. Fantastic views of the coastline and Tasman Mountain can be seen, as well as being a great place to watch the sun set.

The Golf Course can be reached 2 km North of Karamea, when travelling towards the Heaphy Track.  Take the left turn and travel down the short gravel road to the Golf Course. This is a very well kept 9 hole golf course on the coastal sand hills. The course is not steep, and a lot of fun for all abilities can be had. 

Regular golf games on Sundays and twilight golf are held in the summer months. Casual green fees can be paid at the Club rooms, $10.00 per person. Visitors most welcome.
Enquire at the Tourist Information Centre regarding the hire of golf clubs.

Karamea Swimming Pool
The Swimming pool belongs to the Karamea Area School and is open over the summer holidays. The pool is situated on Waverly Street behind the Museum. Check at the Tourist Information Office or on the door of the pool for the opening times.

The Karamea Area School has a double court at the front on Waverley Street.  There is an honesty box for players, as it does not have a booking system.

Lawn Bowls
The Bowling Club is situated next to the school, on Waverley Street. It is used in the summer months only i.e.  from Labour weekend to after  Easter.    They have both ladies and men's competitions and social games, with twilight bowls in summer.

Indoor Bowls
This is a winter sport, i.e.  from after  Easter until just before Labour weekend. Held on Tuesday evenings at the Karamea Area School Hall on Waverley Street, it is recommended to check with the Tourist Information Office for the times. 

Oparara Valley Honeycomb Hill Caves and/or Kayak Tours
In the Kahurangi National Park, which is surrounded by the magnificent rainforest of the Oparara Basin, the Honeycomb Hill Caves can be found.  The three Honeycomb Hill Arches are also located there and lie in a Specially Protected Area. 

Tours of the caves
See www.oparara.co.nz for details

Karamea Holiday Homes, 3-5 Umere Road, Market Cross, Karamea, The northern part of the West Coast of the South Island
021 172 9829 :: Mobile: 021 172 9829 :: Email: info@karameaholidayhomes.co.nz
Some photos taken by Trevor Dennis of Blenheim
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