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Things to do in the Karamea area

For our visitors, Karamea features a variety of walks, suitable for children and over fifties to challenging treks for the fit and able.

Local walks and bike rides

Experience a Mountain Bike ride through the Heaphy Track during the Winter months, then relax in Karamea for a day or two and explore the area. Easy walks include the start of the famed Heaphy track, one of New Zealand's eight "Great Walks". Here, the Nikau Grove, Scotts Beach and the walk up the coast to the Katipo shelter delight the visitor. A walk along the isolated sandy beach north of Karamea, or along the Little Wanganui sands often shows the Tasman sea at its wildest. At other times when seas are calm, surf fishing is popular on these same beaches. 

Experience the Scenic Oparara Valley

In the Oparara valley the Oparara River flows through three arches. Of the two accessible arches, the majestic Oparara Arch soars 43 metres above the river and is 219 metres long. The Mirror Tarn is a small lake with water so black that it mirrors the forest behind. The Box Canyon cave is a dry easy access cave and the labyrinth Honeycomb Hill Caves are a graveyard of sub fossil bird bones, notably moa. The latter caves are fragile and access is restricted to guided tours only.

The Oparara Valley Trust have built new tracks and facilities in the Oparara Basin. The "Moria Gate - Mirror Tarn Track," the first track, was completed October 2006 and is an easy grade 4.1 kilometre walk suitable for all ages. The longer, eight kilometre "Oparara Valley Track" was completed in November 2008.

Other walks include the Fenian Track, an early gold miners pack track and is an easy grade walk up the Oparara gorge. The Zigzag track is close to town and features fine views up the Karamea River and across Karamea farms.

The Big Rimu is a magnificent specimen of the West Coasts premium timber species. It survival is due to the fact that for early loggers it was too large to harvest.
More difficult walks include tracks up the Karamea gorge, and a climb to the top of Mount Stormy. The true Wilderness Area of Kahurangi National Park lies but a ridge away.

Other pastimes

The lower reaches of the Karamea, Little Wanganui, and Oparara rivers offer year round trout fishing and at the mouths of those rivers during summer and autumn, sea run trout, yellow eyed mullet and kahawi can be caught. Sea fishing can net you a snapper, rig or gurnard. Adventure and family rafting and canoeing is popular on the Karamea River. Golf and lawn bowls are popular pastimes with locals.