Karamea is the northern-most town on the West Coast, South Island, New Zealand.
Karamea is a secluded haven at the end of the road just 100 km north of Westport, it’s a scenic road, easy to drive with lots of places to explore on the way.
Karamea sits at the edge of the Karamea river estuary and offers local services including a general store, supermarket, petrol pumps, information centre, cafe, hotel, helicopter centre, a library and an art & craft shop. Karamea also has an interesting museum full of local and family history.
The name Karamea is Maori and is thought to either mean “red ochre” or be a corruption of Kakarataramea, “the smell of speargrass leaves”. The large bay formed by the curve of coastline north for 100 kilometres from Cape Foulwind is called the Karamea Bight.
The Oparara River runs through the area, and the Oparara Basin Arches, large natural river tunnels, and Honeycomb Caves are a well-known pristine tourist destination.
Bus services to Westport operate six days a week in the summer and five days a week in the winter and there are taxi, air and helicopter services available year round.