Getting to Karamea by car
You will drive on State Highway 67, this Highway runs North up the West Coast from Westport and goes into Mokihinui, you will then follow the (well named) Mokihinui Karamea Highway into the Karamea township. The road travels through some beautiful coastal scenery to the Mokihinui River.
Passing over the river the road begins to climb up the Karamea Bluff to reach a high point of 420m. It then descends slowly through mixed Rata / Kamahi bush through which you can catch occasional glimpses of Mount Domett (1646m) and surrounding ranges.
Shortly after leaving the hills the road crosses the Little Wanganui River (where many trampers turn right for the Wangapeka Track). The road turns once again towards the sea passing through Little Wanganui and 15km further along the coast you arrive in Karamea.
The actual distance between Westport and Karamea is 98 kilometres, so make sure you fill up the tank in either spot as it's a long walk between fuel stops. The road is fully sealed and is easily completed in around 1.5 hours, though it may take a little longer on weekends (and if you decide to make several photo-stops on one of the most beautiful drives in New Zealand). It has stunning views of the Tasman coast, river valleys, lush rain-forest and jagged, untouched mountain ranges.
Driving times and distances
- Westport to Karamea 1 hour, 30 mins - 90 km
- Punakaiki to Karamea 2 hours, 20 mins - 144 km
- Reefton to Karamea 2 hours 30mins - 167 km
- Greymouth to Karamea 3 hours - 187 km
- Hokitika to Karamea 3 hours, 30mins - 227 km
- Hanmer Springs to Karamea 4 hours, 30mins - 311 km
- Nelson to Karamea 4 hours, 50 mins - 320 km
- Blenheim to Karamea 5 hours 45 mins - 350 km
- Franz Josef to Karamea 5 hours, 30mins - 370 km
- Picton to Karamea 6 hours, 10 mins - 378 km
- Christchurch (via Lewis Pass) 5 hours, 30 mins - 426 km
- Kaikoura to Karamea 6 hours - 491 km
- Queenstown to Karamea 11 hours, 30mins - 778 km