While you're traveling along the West Coast (which is only around 600 kilometers (373 miles) long, but seems much more) you won't know which way to look. So take your time, stop and wander.
Granity is a small historical town with a population of just over 200 people.
It's well situated to explore the top of the West Coast - Punakaiki is only an hour away. Explore Cape Foulwind, Carters Beach, Charming Creek, Denniston, Ngakawau, Mokanui, Seddonville, Little Wanganui, Westport to Karamea.
Granity has a café and a pub. There's a gallery with local artists' work from cards to tables.
The Granity Museum is just across the road and railway track from Ghost Lodge, so pop across and have a look at their eclectic collection of local history. There's even original old cocking ovens to see. A nursery next door might just have that elusive plant you're looking for.
It even has a theatre which is open on the second Sunday of the month and there's a book exchange system where you can leave a book and pick another one just down the road.
So sit on the front porch and enjoy watching the town go by.
Travel north on State Highway 67 from Ghost Lodge to Karamea, at the most northern end of the West Coast. You'll pass the Charming Creek Walkway on the way, so stop and stretch your legs. Don't forget to look for the Hector's Dolphins at Hector (yes really, they do appear along this stretch of the Coast.
Enjoy the remoteness of the journey. Cross over the Mokihinui River, Karamea Bluff, the Little Wanganui River then through Little Wanganui along the coast to Karamea. You'll love the wild beaches, native bush, stunning rivers and the Oparara Arches (The arch is 219 metres long with sides 79 metres apart and a roof 43 metres above the river that carved it).
Karamea is where the Heaphy Track finishes (or starts, depending how you want to walk it).
Allow plenty of time for photos stops along the way.
Or take a leisurely drive south from Granity and go on a day trip to Punakaiki, on the edge of the Paparoa National Park - it's only an hour away. Punakaiki is well known for its Pancake Rocks and blowholes s o enjoy a drive and take a look. Stop at Cape Foulwind on the way from Granity to Punakaiki and go and see the New Zealand fur seals (once hunted to the brink of extinction).
Just make sure you allow enough time be able to stop and enjoy the beauty of this magnificent, remote, sparsely populated part of New Zealand.
The West Coast offers magnificent landscapes and vistas. Wild scenery, beautiful rainforests.
Travel south to glacier country, Fox and Franz - where you can take a walk to see them, have a guided walk or enjoy a scenic flight.
Then continue south through the Haast region (a UNESCO designated "World Heritage" area).
Enjoy the amazing beaches, lakes (Lake Paringa, Lake Moeraki) and wetlands with the spectacular Southern Alps as a backdrop. If you have time go kayaking at Okarito and see the white herons.
You may be lucky to see the Fiordland Crested Penguins if you take the Monro Beach Walk.
You often feel you have your own private beach, walking for miles without seeing other people.
The West Coast offers the beauty of space and wilderness.
An awesome, clean, beautiful place to stay.
"Friendly and very helpful local host who knew all the best spots. Everything that you could need if you're packing lightly. Yummy food at local café and restaurant. Beautiful art and craft at local shops. Amazing bush walks big and small close by. Private even with shared living facilities. Lots of room and different areas to chill out. Walk out the back and you're on one of the most amazing beaches on the west coast! Plenty of entertainment if you get caught in the rain. (it didn't rain one day we were there) Highly recommended. Cheers Simon, thanks for the awesome stay :)" C. Keith