Free Cancellation Book more than 2 days in advance for Free Cancellation.
On New Zealand's South Island, Westport is the largest town on the West Coast. Built first on gold mining (you can still try panning for gold in the wide Buller River), then coal mining, today it's a paradise for adventure sports lovers. You can try surfing off its sandy beaches, rafting or kayaking down wild, rushing rivers or go off-road mountain biking, while walking trails range from gentle coastal hikes to wilderness forest treks. In town, there's also a lively arts and crafts scene, plus buzzing cafés.
The Westport hostel scene includes a restored heritage building set in verdant gardens and a laid-back hostel with a surf school and colourful graffiti. Free Wi-Fi is standard, and you can choose from a range of room types, whether you'd prefer a lively mixed dorm, a quiet private room or even a tent pitched under the stars. Get around with free transport to beaches or hire a mountain bike. You can expect Westport hostels with spacious social areas to relax in, with plenty of sunshine in summer and central heating in winter.
Set on the banks of the Buller River, Westport's town centre runs along the waterfront. Discover wild wetlands and the Orowaiti Lagoon, home to a variety of birds, or cross the river for Westport Airport and golf club. You'll find beaches and picturesque coastline just a 20-minute walk from the town centre. West from the Buller Bay is Cape Foulwind, a spectacular rocky lookout point with a fur seal colony.
Westport is popular with surfers, who come to ride its tall West Coast waves. Like many towns in New Zealand, it's a hotspot for many other outdoorsy activities, from trekking through the rugged Buller Gorge or gentle West Coast rainforest, to caving adventures deep underground. In the nearby town of Charleston, you can go black water rafting in subterranean grottoes lit by thousands of glow-worms. There are also a few historic sights dotted around; climb up to the abandoned Britannia gold mine or take a tour to an ancient Māori cave.
Westport Airport is a 5-minute taxi ride from the town centre. It's mostly served by domestic flights. If you're coming from outside New Zealand, change at Wellington Airport, or you could fly into Christchurch International Airport and take a bus to Westport (around 7-8 hours' ride). Many visitors hire a rental car on arrival, but you can also get around on bikes or buses. Westport town itself is small enough to explore on foot.