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Things to see and do

For lovers of the great outdoors and fierce, crashing ocean waves, you can’t go past the Buller District.
But there’s plenty more than walks and stunning coastline in Buller, you will also find amazing places to eat, stay, be entertained and explore the history of the area.

Take a drive 40-minute drive from Westport through the wild and picturesque valley formed by the Buller Gorge to Hawks Crag where the road has been cut through the rock face.

Buller Gorge activities include:

Punakaiki offers the opportunity to enjoy craft shops, café, and some amazing beachside accommodation.

One of the most popular attractions is the Punakaiki pancake rocks and blowholes walk. A short 20-minute loop walk, it is one of the most accessible tracks available and is suitable for wheelchairs and prams. The blowholes are most spectacular when the sea is rough, but the dramatic views of the rock systems and the township of Punakaiki are worth a visit even on the calmest of days.

Read more about walks in the Punaikiki area here.

An hour and a half drive north from Westport is Karamea. A popular tourist destination, Karamea boasts the spectacular Ōpārara basin with its limestone arches and caves and the Kahurangi National Park with the famous Heaphy track.

The close community of around 650 people supports a growing horticulture, dairy farming, and tourism industry. The area is packed with opportunities to experience the wonder of the environment.

Walking, tramping, mountain biking, caving, fishing – there’s something for every outdoor fan.

As well as stunning views, Buller’s beaches offer surfing, fishing and bird watching. We suggest visiting:

  • North Beach and the mouth of the Buller River
  • Tauranga Bay – seal colony
  • Carters Beach
  • Orowaiti and Okari Lagoons
  • Cape Foulwind – lighthouse
  • Constant and Joyce Bays at Charleston
  • Fox River
  • Punakaiki beaches

Whitebaiting is also a favourite among locals. The season runs from 1 September to 30 October (inclusive). To find out more please read the Department of Conservation information around whitebaiting.

Buller offers a range of boutique cinemas and theatres as well as historical sites and museums to visit.

In Westport alone you will find:

  • Coaltown Museum
  • NBS Theatre shows and movies
  • John Deere Museum
  • Mini golf at Westport Holiday Park
  • Orowaiti Cemetery

The region’s coalmining history is also recognised at Reefton’s Black’s Point Museum and the Historic Denniston Mine north of Westport as well as the historic Granity Museum.

There are also parks, recreation areas, golf (Westport Golf Club) and our large swimming and recreation facility Pulse Energy Recreation Centre (PERC) if you need some fun and exercise in Westport.

For more advice on what to where to stay, eat or be entertained, the Westport, Reefton and Karamea information websites are good places to start.

Walking and mountain biking are favourites for visitors to Buller and it offers some amazing hikes, including.

For walking and mountain biking tracks around Westport, and for Department of Conservation -managed walks go to

Useful links

You will find visitor information centers in Buller to drop in and organize or book your next adventure while exploring our amazing district.

If you want to explore what there is to do in Buller before heading to our piece of paradise use the below pages to get inspired, organized and book your time away in Buller.