Leave Karamea on
SH67 eastward inland for about a kilometre skirting the northern bank of the
the river, you turn back west again along the southern bank before turning
south along the foreshore through Kongahu.
The drive is spectacular
for over 10km of glorious shoreline to Little Wanganui.
After Little Wanganui,
the road turns inland through the tiny village of Te Namu and winds up through
the Mokihinui Forest, through Corbyvale before descending again to Waimaire
and emerging on the coast at the mouth of the Mokihinui River.
Now you begin another
long lazy drive south beside the awesome Tasman surf. If you're tempted to
take a dip, the townships of Summerlea, Nikau, Miko Hector, Ngakawau and Granity
all feature nice beaches.
the road becomes separated from the foreshore through Birchfield and Waimangaroa,
before curving through the flood plains of Fairydown and Sergeants Hill all
the way to the thriving township of Westport.
Head south out
of Westport on SH67 for about 3km until you come to the junction with SH6.
Continue south on this new road alongside the tranquil Okari Lagoon.
If you want, you
can turn right after the junction and head out to the seal colony at Cape
Foulwind, and explore the lagoon.
on SH6 through Charleston where the road again rejoins the coast for more
superb coastal vistas – this time the spectacle lasts for over 40km
through the seaside towns of Tiromoana, Pahautane, Ti Miko, Punakaiki (Pancake
Rocks), Barrytown, Griegs, Rapahoe.
After here the
road heads back inland through Runanga before you cruise into the historic
seaside town of Greymouth.
At the Four Rivers
confluence, head out of Murchison on SH6 west along the winding Buller River
valley that swings past the Matiri and Victoria forests.
Along the way you'll
pass through the tiny settlements of Fern Flat, Newton Flat, Lyell and Inangahua.
After that the
road comes to the Inangahua Junction. Take SH69 south alongside the river
through Oweka, Inangahua Landing, Rotokohu, Larry's Creek, Cronadun, Capleston,
Waitahu to the historic goldmining town of Reefton.
From there you
turn right onto SH7 and travel southwest following the Grey River through
the settlements of Taipoiti, Tawhai, Maimai, Hinau, Mawheraiti, Waimaunga
and Hukarere where there is a park for a rest stop.
The next township
of Ikamatua has a golf course if you feel like stretching your legs.
Back on the road
southwest you'll cruise through more little settlements of Totara Flat, Raupo,
Ahaura, Matai, Ngahere, Kamaka, Stillwater, Taylorville, Kaiata and Omoko
before finishing at Greymouth.
to Franz Josef Glacier
south on SH6. On one side you are flanked by the Omoto forest and on the right
side, the awe-inspiring Tasman Sea with its huge waves rolling ashore.
through Karoro, South Beach, Paroa, Gladstone and Camerons. There is a replica
gold town here to see the way life was during the gold rush days.
Next the road takes
a short trip inland from the coast to Kumara Junction.
Turn right to stay
on SH6 back to the coast and south through Chesterfield, Awatuna, Kaihinui
and Seaview to Hokitika. Hokitika is a great place to explore with many tourist
attractions and access to many walks like the Lake Kaniere Walkway.
south on SH6 through Takutai, Mananui and Ruatapu to Ross where there is an
historic goldfields walkway.
Then keep heading
south through Fergusons, Kakapotahi and Pukekura before driving beside the
picture-postcard Lake Ianthe and through the rural towns of Harihari, Te Taho
From here you turn
towards the coast to the beautiful Lake Wahapo.
If you feel like
a side-trip turn right at The Forks and drive west to the coast. After about
6km you will emerge at Okarito – a massive lagoon which is home to a
colony of kotuku (white heron).
Back at The Forks,
it's an easy 15km drive past Lake Mapourika and the settlement of Tatare before
rolling to the foot of the Franz Joseph Waiau Glacier.
Josef Glacier to Wanaka
Drive south from
Franz Joseph Waiau through the Waikukupa Forest and soon you will arrive at
the foot of the Fox Glacier.
Take a side trip
to the crumbling lower edge of the glacier, a great place for a picnic and
Continue on through
the Karangarua Forest and Jacobs River settlements, where the road descends
to the coast at picturesque Bruce Bay and Mahitahi.
The road then heads
inland for around 70km passing by Lakes Paringa and Moeraki before emerging
once again on breathtaking coastal views at Knights Point.
The road then hugs
the coastline for about 30km to Haast Beach where there is an airport and
a camping ground for road-weary travellers.
take SH6 southeast along the Haast River before swinging southwest again through
the Haast Pass to Makarora and on through Lake Hawea to popular Lake Wanaka.
is recommended that you have detailed road maps before departing on your trip