Pūwaha Section

Westport – Carters Beach

1  Pūwaha

2  Kawau

3  Omau

4  Tauranga

5  Ōkari

6  Tōtara

7  Rahui

8  Waitakere

9  Tauhinu

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Section Status

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STATUS: Open

Section SnapShot

Westport – Carters Beach

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100% Grade 1 – Easiest

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5.5 km (1-2 hours)
Mobile coverage: Good

Dogs: Not Permitted

Trail Map

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Kawau

Carters Beach – Cape Foulwind

Pūwaha - Intro

The Pūwaha Section offers a fulfilling set of experiences between Westport and Carters Beach. This restorative section of trail brings together a unique combination of native flora and fauna, wildlife and significant Māori archaeological sites. Whilst only a short distance, the accessible route is brimming with history and local secrets, and has much to offer cyclists and walkers.

Overview

The Pūwaha Section offers a fulfilling set of experiences between Westport and Carters Beach. This restorative section of trail brings together a unique combination of native flora and fauna, wildlife and significant Māori archaeological sites. Whilst only a short distance, the accessible route is brimming with history and local secrets, and has much to offer cyclists and walkers.

Initially following the Kawatiri (Buller) River with it’s Māori meaning of swift and deep, the trail meanders a mix of forest and a 700 metre boardwalk through pristine wetlands. Upon leaving the forest, riders encounter the towering ship like masts of the Martins Creek Suspension Bridge, offering elevated views of the wetlands, wildlife and wider West Coast scenery.

The Bridge is named after the Martin family who were the first permanent Pākehā settlers in the Buller District, establishing the first farm in 1865. Pause for breath and explore the Shelter (Whare), called Ngahue. In the surrounding fields is an historic Māori Archaeological Site dating back to around 1350, thought to be one of the earliest New Zealand settlements.

The journey continues north hugging the estuary, enabling riders to observe the wading birds stalking their prey in the shallows. As the Trail reaches the outskirts of the Carters Beach Domain, the river trail becomes coastal, and riders are met with expansive views of the 9 km shoreline of Carters Beach.

Highlights

Kawatiri (Buller) River with its Māori meaning of swift and deep
Unique native flora and fauna
Packers Point
Boardwalk through pristine wetlands
Lowland forest of large Mataī, Northern Rātā and Kahikatea trees
Kahikatea Forest Picnic and rest stop
Martins Creek Suspension Bridge
Whare Ngahue (Shelter) with it’s informative Interpretation Panels
Historic Māori Archaeological Site of International significance dating back to around 1350
Carters Beach Domain and Carters Beach