IMG0697a Hectors Dolphins
IMG2404 Westport beach
IMG1779 copy
Boat Trip 17 Feb 2007 091 640x480
Beautiful Buller two 056 640x480
Best Photos Charles Bruning 041 640x480
Hoods Ltd Big Dig 2005 065 640x480
Hoods Ltd Big Dig 2005 057 640x480
BCC 8 A Grade Natual History Waxeye in jpg 2 Copy

North Beach

-41.729385

171.590738

Directions

Off Palmerston Street (the main street) and take any right turn street – follow until you get to Derby St – then turn left and follow the signs to the Beach or Buller River Mouth. Follow the sandy trails into Les Warren Park, and park there.

North Beach

– Though do keep the children and dogs under tight control up on the Buller River Breakwater.  The walk includes the spectacular river bar entrance (huge wave swells), sand pools to play in, masses of driftwood in amazing shapes and colours, and at its end, the estuary environment of the Orowaiti Lagoon.  For a 15 minute walk, stroll down the breakwater and then back down to the beach park area.


A feature of this beach is that timber flushed down the Buller River is washed up by the coastal current and forms the only protection from the sea.  Wood carvers and gardeners love nature’s sculptured and weathered pieces of native timber.

Start at the Buller River Mouth, referred to by locals as the tiphead, probably because this huge breakwater or groyne which forms Buller River harbour was built from big slabs of granite brought down by rail from Cape Foulwind – the head, was where they ‘tipped’ it  - the tiphead.

Walking North you can follow the beach right up to mouth of the Orowaiti River which forms the Orowaiti Lagoon.  Locals call this Giles Creek and it is the exit point for the Westport Flood Protection Scheme.  This tidal lagoon is wading bird paradise (watch out for grey and white herons) and one of the Buller region’s most important whitebait spawning and wetland areas.

This beach is never crowded although you will find a concentration of family fun close to the car park area.  Heading north, you will soon find the beach becomes YOURS.

So if you like a bit of solitude and bird-watching go north!

History and how the Orowaiti got it’s name

When local Maori paid for some goods in Nelson with gold, an enterprising local shopkeeper, Reuben Waite, decided to ‘follow the money’ and with no competition to two years, eventually opened a shop at the river mouth.  Before this, the story goes, that locals would look out for his ship loaded with goods – and welcome him joyfully with ‘Kia Ora Waite’.

General Info

Distance: Round trip 3 hours – but do as much or as little as you like

Difficulty: Easy

Contact Details

Email: westport.info@xtra.co.nz

Contact Us