The Kawatiri Coastal Cycle trail is a trail currently going from the Buller bridge at Westport to just past Carters Beach. A trust was set up and a passionate group of volunteers applied for funding to make this dream come true. There has been great buy-in by the community and the end result is a proposed trail running from Westport to Charleston, eventually some 55kms long.
With a recent trip north to the Buller region we thought it was time we checked out the progress of the cycle trail so far. I say cycle trail but it can be walked (or run!) too. It is classed as grade 2 – a lovely family friendly, even gravel surface initially following the Buller River before it reaches Carters beach and then heads along the coast towards Cape Foulwind.
More of the trail is currently being worked on through to Cape Foulwind and on to Tauranga Bay but as there is machinery and workman still working the trail they haven’t opened that section up yet.
It has been quite the undertaking and no shortcuts taken in the quality of the trail. Nice and wide making for easy passing for two way “traffic” and the boardwalks through the native bush sections protecting the wetland and waterways are seriously second to none.
There are information boards and interpretation panels strategically positioned along the way pointing out the fascinating history of early Maori and European settlers and other notes of interest. It is always fascinating stopping and reading these boards and learning more of the history of the region. Through the bush sections there are tags pointing out the various flora and their significance to being found in the area.
So far the trail is in its infancy with what is known as the Pūwaha section open Westport to Carters Beach. That alone is a wonderful diverse ecology and views so I can only imagine what the rest of this trail is eventually going to be like.
Well done to all involved – the spirit of the West Coast is alive and well in Buller, West Coast.
The Kawatiri Coastal Trail needs donations to help support the maintenance and ongoing operations. The Trust welcomes donations to ensure this incredible community asset moves forward, giving enjoyment and health benefits to all that use it.
Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the West Coast north of Greymouth. They have a passion for exploring the region and sharing their backyard with visitors to the West Coast.