The Kawatiri Coastal Trail is a Grade 2, family friendly cycling and walking heritage trail and will connect the Buller District towns of Westport and Charleston.
- Stunning coastal landscapes
- Unique native flora and fauna
- Abundant wildlife – weka, fur seals, penguins, fern birds and birdlife
- Extensive Māori and European history
- Temperate climate for all year use
About the Kawatiri Coastal Trail
The Kawatiri Coastal Trail is a 55 km walking and cycling heritage Trail which will eventually connect the communities of Carters Beach, Cape Foulwind and Tauranga Bay along the coast from Westport to Charleston. The area’s unique geology, diverse ecology, extensive Māori and European history and vast seascapes will make it one of New Zealand’s finest day rides.
Wild scenery and intriguing history along this alluring corridor offers riders a fascinating yet easy cruise through this mesmerising wonderland. Renowned for its native flora and fauna, early Māori trading history and significant archaeological sites, visitors will immerse in the region’s abundant cultural and natural heritage.
The spectacular all seasons Trail once built can be ridden in either direction, with the option to slow down the pace and split into shorter rides taking in major highlights along the way. A large number of interpretation boards along the route will provide information on the fascinating ecological and historical values.
The first meeting to discuss a proposed coastal cycling and walking trail was held in 2015, and in 2016 the Charleston Westport Coastal Trail Trust was established, with a preliminary route identified and key stakeholders engaged. In 2017 the Trail was included in the West Coast Economic Development Strategy, and in 2018 a feasibility study and Business Case undertaken.
The Business Case contributed to the successful application to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) seeking $9.36 million from the Provincial Growth Fund for full funding for construction. In 2019 final designs for the Trail, resource consents and landowner access saw the project move closer to becoming a reality.
The Kawatiri Coastal Trail needs donations to support its maintenance and ongoing operations. The Trust welcomes donations through its Givealittle Page to ensure this incredible community asset goes from good to great, giving enjoyment and health benefits to those who use it.
The Pūwaha Section of the Kawatiri Coastal Trail from Westport to Carters Beach is the first of nine sections to be built, and officially opened to the public on 6 December 2020.
The Trail will open in stages, with Westport and Carters Beach residents the first to use the trail for shopping, commuting and recreation, encouraging friends and family to visit and appreciate the Trail and surrounding area.
The Kawatiri Coastal Trail is due for completion in June 2022.