GREYMOUTH – NELSON (via Westport)
Travel distance is approximately 328kms (205 miles).
Allow at least 4.25 hours drive time (not including stops).
Leaving behind Greymouth and its long gold mining history, it’s time to enjoy the rugged beauty of the road to Punakaiki. From foaming breakers crashing onto the rugged coastal rocks to bush-clad mountains, there is plenty to be enjoyed on your route to the sunny spot of Nelson at the top of the South Island.
Some notable stops along the route to Nelson include:
PUNAKAIKI PANCAKE ROCKS & BLOWHOLES
Located just out of Greymouth on the coastal route, a well-maintained walkway to the pancake rocks leads through native forest before emerging into areas of coastal flax and scrub. The track offers magnificent views of the inland mountains, the rugged coastline and the main attraction – the pancake rocks and blowholes.
CAPE FOULWIND SEAL COLONY
Located in Tauranga Bay, visitors can take a 10 minute stroll down a well formed track that leads to viewing platforms over the seal colony below. On-site information panels provide information on the activity in the colony and the seals’ breeding cycle, as well as historical information about the sealing industry that once existed in New Zealand.
This quaint port town is the largest centre of the Northern West Coast of the South Island and offers a number of cafes and restaurants as well as a Guided Heritage Walk and the history steeped Coaltown Museum.
BULLER GORGE SWINGBRIDGE & HERITAGE PARK
Located approximately 1 hour from Westport on State Highway 6, The Buller Gorge Swingbridge & Heritage Park offers visitors a choice of exciting activities, including the rush of the Cometline ride and jet boat thrills, while less heart pounding activities include nature and swingbridge walks and panning for gold.
Located in Fairfax Street, the museum has a large collection of artifacts including an assortment of agricultural machinery used in the local area. The 1929 earthquake that devastated the area is well documented along with the earlier goldrush days.
Nelson offers a vibrant and diverse culture of beach, bush and art lovers so you are guaranteed to find plenty to see and do! Located at the top northwest corner of the South Island, Nelson regularly receives New Zealand’s highest sunshine hours.
Nelson is the gateway to the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park as well as the stunning beaches of Golden Bay.
Nelson offers a huge array of diverse accommodation, including backpackers, luxury lodges, international-standard hotels, ocean front motels, quaint bed & breakfasts, holiday parks and homestays.
Dining options in the region are glorious! Imagine sun-kissed fruits, farm fresh organic vegetables, prime beef and succulent seafood! Choose to dine among the vines at a winery or fresh seafood with fabulous views along the waterfront. From country cafes to award winning restaurants and more… welcome to the taste of Nelson.
Highly recommended Nelson tourist attractions include…
Nelson Lakes National Park – Located on two beautiful alpine lakes (Rotoiti and Rotoroa), the stunning landscape is a contrast of rugged mountains, clear bubbling streams, tranquil lakes and pebble beaches. A range of walking tracks is available as well as boating, fishing, bird watching and swimming.
Mountain Biking – Enjoy the awesome experience of mountain biking in Abel Tasman National Park amidst sub-tropical native New Zealand rainforest and private farmland as part of a guided trip (or you can hire a bike).
Abel Tasman National Park – World renowned for its golden beaches and native bush, Abel Tasman National Park is an outdoor lovers paradise. No matter what your fitness level, everyone can enjoy the Abel Tasman Coastal Track which boasts easy walking through native bush. The track takes 3-5 days to walk the entire length and is one of New Zealand’s ‘Great Walks’. Alternatively you can choose to kayak the tranquil coastline past golden beaches.
The Nelson Market – Welcome to the famous Nelson Saturday market! Experience the original creative spirit of the region in one happening place as you stroll the lanes between the hundreds of stalls for Nelson’s best fresh veges, breads, fruit, cheeses, woodwork, gourmet foods, designer wear, crafts and treasures before treating yourself at the food stalls!
Sea Kayaking – Enjoy a guided sea kayak along the scenic coastline of Abel Tasman National Park with a range of tours for complete beginners to experienced paddlers!
Horse Trekking – Enjoy the tranquility and views of 800 acres on a New Zealand working farm with Stonehurst Farm Horse Treks.
World of WearableArt™ & Classic Cars Museum – Welcome to this exotic fantasy world where art is taken off the walls to adorn the body while the Classic Car Gallery features over 50 cars and motorbikes – featuring the best of motor vehicle design from late 19th century inventions through to modern day marvels.
New Zealand Itineraries: South Island Suggested Itineraries
Our modern self-drive travel Itineraries have routes specifically for the North Island as well as the South Island, ranging from 5 to 11 days, plus there are some travel routes that take in both the North and South Island’s. Our range of travel itineraries include information regarding travel distances and time to ensure that you can make the best of your time in New Zealand, no longer how short your visit!
- 5 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Greymouth, Greymouth – Fox Glacier, Franz Josef – Wanaka, Wanaka – Mt Cook and Mt Cook – Christchurch
- 5 Day Itinerary (route 2): Christchurch – Hanmer Springs, Hanmer Springs – St Arnuad, St Arnuad – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch
- 5 Day Itinerary (route 3): Christchurch – Mt Cook, Mt Cook – Queenstown, Queenstown – Dunedin, Dunedin – Oamaru and Oamaru – Christchurch
- 7 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin – Invercargill, Invercargill – Stewart Island, Stewart Island – Te-anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown and Queenstown – Christchurch
- 8 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Greymouth, Greymouth – Fox Glacier, Fox Glacier – Wanaka, Wanaka – Queenstown, Queenstown – Te Anau, Te Anau – Dunedin and Dunedin – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin, Dunedin – Invercragill, Invercargill – Te Anau, Te Anau Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown, Queenstown – Mt Cook, Mt Cook – Lake Tekapo and Lake Tekapo – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary (route 2): Christchurch – Omarama, Omarama – Dunedin, Dunedin, Dunedin – Te Anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown, Queenstown – Haast, Haast – Greymouth and Greymouth – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary (route 3): Christchurch – Hanmer Springs, Hanmer Springs – Greymouth, Greymouth – Nelson, Nelson – Takaka, Takaka – Motueka, Motueka – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch
- 11 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin – Te Anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Milford Sound – Queenstown, Queenstown – Wanaka, Wanaka – Franz Josef, Franz Josef – Greymouth, Greymouth – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch