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BUG New Zealand travel guidebook

Destination guides > Pacific Islands > New Zealand > West Coast > Westport


This old coal mining town is the largest town on the North West Coast. The town itself offers little for the visitor, but is often used as a jumping off point for the rugged Kahurangi National Park, the Buller Gorge or the beautiful Paparoa National Park. Westport has some rich history, which is detailed in the Coaltown Museum. It is also close to fur seal colonies at Cape Foulwind.

Practical information

Westport i-Site Visitor Centre

1 Brougham Street, Westport
Tel (03) 789 6658
Website www.westport.org.nz
Open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat-Sun 9am-4pm

The Web Shed

204 Palmerston Street, Westport
Tel (03) 788 8002
Website www.thewebshed.co.nz
Open 1 Jan-15 Feb Mon-Fri 8.30am-7pm, Sat 9.30am-4pm, Sun 10am-3pm; 16 Feb-15 Apr Mon-Fri 8.30am-6pm, Sat 9.30am-1pm; 16 Apr-31 Oct Mon-Fri 8.30am-5pm, Sat 9.30am-12.30pm; 1 Nov-31 Dec Mon-Fri 8.30am-6pm, Sat 9.30am-1pm

Coming & going

Atomic Shuttles (tel (03) 349 0697) and Southern Link K Bus (tel (03) 358 8355 or 0508 458 835) stop outside the visitor information centre (1 Brougham Street, Westport). InterCity Coachlines (tel (03) 365 1113) stop outside the Caltex service station (197 Palmerston Street, Westport).

Hostel accommodation

Bazil’s Hostel YHA

54-56 Russell Street, Westport
Tel (03) 789 6410

Berlins Café & Bar

State Highway 6, Buller Gorge
Tel (03) 789 0295

Trip Inn

72 Queen Street, Westport
Tel (03) 789 7367

Eating & drinking

Cheap restaurants and cafés line the main street in town, and you also find cheap meals in Westport’s pubs.


Dirty Mary’s Café (198 Palmerston Street, Westport) is a popular place for breakfast and lunch, and they also have great coffee. Currtino’s Yellow House Café (243 Palmerston Street, Westport) has a friendly ambience and relatively cheap lunch options. For tight budgets, there is a New World supermarket (244 Palmerston Street, Westport) in the centre of Palmerston Street.

Sights & activities


This museum focuses on Westport’s coal mining heritage with interesting exhibits of mining equipment in addition to displays about transport and brewing.

Upper Queen Street, Westport
Tel (03) 789 8204
Website www.geocities.com/coaltownnz/
Admission $8
Open 9am-4.30pm daily

Jet boating

Buller Adventure Tours (tel (03) 789 7286 or 0800 697 286) run jet boating trips through the Lower Buller Gorge. The trips cost $75 and last for 1¼ hours, which makes it one of New Zealand’s best value jet boating trips.

White water rafting

Buller Adventure Tours (tel (03) 789 7286 or 0800 697 286) operate white water rafting trips on the Buller River, 50km from Westport. This section of the river has grade 3-4 rapids. The three hour trip costs $110.

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