I spent a few days in Westport, New Zealand during my travels. While in this rainy West Coast town that I witnessed most people passing over it. They only stayed for the night. I really enjoyed my stay and I even considered going back a staying for a few months. Like I mentioned in my blog post about Picton, you might want to reconsider passing over these little New Zealand towns.
Like every beach town in New Zealand, there all the water and beach activities you’d expect. Personally, I’m a fan of just taking a walk along the beach. It’s one of my favourite things especially beaches like the one in Westport. The West Coast of New Zealand is the rainiest part of the country getting over 2000 millimeters of rain a year. There is something beautiful about walking along a beach during misty overcast weather. But I saw people doing some stand up paddle boarding and kayaking so there are lots of options.
Out of all of the water activities, Westport is know for being a good surf spot in New Zealand. The Tasman Sea in general will give you some good waves. There are surf lessons available if you’ve never surfed before. If you have experience, go and take on the waves. The best beach in Westport for surfing is Tauranga Bay which is a little bit outside of town so grab a ride out there to catch the waves.
Of course, there is the fur seal colony. One of Westport’s most well known attraction is the seal colony near Cap Foulwind. It’s about 15 km outside of the town so driving is probably the best. However, if you are like me and lacking a car, you can bike out there. Hopefully you have better weather than I had. I ended up getting catch in a downpour about half way there. But that’s what you get in the West Coast I guess. The viewing platform for the seals is fairly high up so don’t expect to get very close to the seals. They can be a little difficult to see at first but once you spot one, you’ll start spotting all of them.
I went straight from view the fur seal colony to walking Cape Foulwind Walkway. Luckly the weather cleared and I had perfect sunny weather for this bushwalk. This path will give you beautiful views overlook the Tasman Sea. Like most trails I’ve noticed in New Zealand, it isn’t the most well marked path. There are also a few little gates with steps to hop over so you can continue along the path. This made me feel a little weird but it’s just the way it is. I had the added trouble of getting my bike over these gates since I decided to ride a bike down there instead of driving like most people. It gave me a good arm workout lifting the bike and unfortunately ruined the jeans I was wearing with grease marks. It typically takes 1.5 hours to walk and combined with seeing the seal colony makes for a good afternoon.
If you aren’t interested in going out to Cape Foulwind for a bushwalk, there are shorter ones closer to town. I went through the Millennium Walkway. This one is located between the town and the river. It’s more of a little garden walk than a proper bushwalk. But it’s a pleasant place to walk through if you are looking to kill some time and enjoy a rain-free moment outside. There are lots of walks around Westport so if you’re interested in that, you will be able to find all the information you need at the iSite in town.
So, that’s what I got up while spending a few days in Westport, New Zealand. Like I said, I really enjoyed my time there and was surprised so many other travellers just passed through the town.
Have you been to Westport before? What was your favourite part?