A West Coast

The Kawatiri Coastal Trail is a Grade 2, family friendly cycling and walking heritage trail and will connect the Buller District towns of Westport and Charleston.


This extraordinary West Coast adventure journeys between the mountains to the east and the coastline to the west, with views towards the majestic Paparoa Mountain Range.

Diverse landscapes combine to create a memorable journey comprising of eight gentle sections, with multiple access points, the trail is manageable for riders to fully complete, at each turn revealing unrivalled and ever-changing coastlines.

The breathtaking route meanders an enviable mix of rugged cliffs, crashing seas, wildlife, forest, suspension bridges, boardwalks, pristine wetlands, shelters and interpretive signage brimming with remarkable stories and local secrets.  With views from mountains to sea, the trail traverses highlights such as Carters Beach, Cape Foulwind, Tauranga Bay, Ōkari, Tōtara and Charleston.

The Kawatiri Coastal Trail is under construction and is opening in stages. Currently there are five consecutive sections open from Westport to Virgin Flat Road, and also the Waitakere Section in Charleston. A map of the current trail can be found here.

Trail Sections

Explore The Kawatiri Coastal Trail


Section 1
5.5 km

Westport – Carters Beach



Section 2
7.5 km

Carters Beach – Cape Foulwind



Section 3
3.5 km

Cape Foulwind – Tauranga Bay



Section 4
5.5 km

Tauranga Bay – Ōkari Lagoon



Section 5
6.5 km

Ōkari Lagoon – Virgin Flat Road



Section 6

Virgin Flat Road – Tōtara River

Under construction


Section 7

Tōtara River – Nile River



Section 8
1 km

Nile River – Charleston


The area’s unique geology, diverse ecology, extensive Māori and European history and vast seascapes make this one of New Zealand’s finest day or multi-day rides.

Following a dedicated cycle path between Westport and Charleston, the awe-inspiring heritage trail offers riders an invigorating experience along a truly spectacular coastline. Along a wide, smooth path through podocarp forest, nikau palms and expansive beaches, riders journey back in time to the days of Māori Pounamu gatherers and the glittering gold rush era.

Once complete all sections of trail can be ridden in either direction, with the option to slow down the pace and split into shorter rides, taking in major highlights along the way.


Tales from the Trail

Connecting Trail Users To Their Environment

Connecting Trail Users To Their Environment

Since 1980, Janet Bathgate has been a self-employed contract designer, collaboratively creating in-situ interpretation panels, orientation signs and displays for museums and visitor centres. Over the past three years, Janet has been involved with the design of a suite...

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Capturing Birdlife On The Kawatiri Coastal Trail

Capturing Birdlife On The Kawatiri Coastal Trail

We see and hear birds in our gardens, and when out in nature, but a number of the fascinating creatures also find their way across the globe. For centuries they have held a cultural, artistic and philosophical value. More importantly they have a role in preserving our...

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