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Sitting on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, Westport is a "dot" of a town on the map - think about 4,000 souls - that is so small you will not need a car to get around it, your feet will be fine. Sitting on the northern bank of the mouth of the Buller River, it is near Buller Gorge. Despite its size, it is a pretty and very photogenic Georgian town with a great vibe flowing through its tree-lined streets. The town predominantly relies on a dairy industry plus tourism, to keep it alive.
If you are into chasing seals, you will wet your pants here, but then again if you are into nature at all you will be happy, the Cape Foulwind Hike, which begins a few kilometers out of town will be a highlight. It's only less than an hour of stunning scenery where waves pound the coastline and the wind chases the birds to get to the seals basking on rocks in all their glory. Once you have done this walk, you will appreciate why Captain James Cook named the area "Cape Foulwind". It wasn't because he had a case of bad wind of the personal kind when he came across the region. There are some fantastic restaurants dishing up local produce to pig out in.
From Westport you can explore the northern coast to Denniston, Charming Creek, Karamea and the Heaphy Track.
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