Located on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, Karamea is your gateway to the Kahurangi National Park. The region is said to be 'New Zealand's best-kept secret'. About 20 kilometers (12 mi) north of Karamea is the Kohaihai River, which forms one end of the Heaphy Track, one of New Zealand's nine 'Great Walks'. The western end of the Wangapeka Track is also located near Karamea. Other popular tourist attractions include the Oparara Basin with the Oparara Arches, Honeycomb Caves, and rainforest walks.
About Last Resort Karamea, location and getting there
The Last Resort Karamea, is located in the town of Karamea, the northernmost settlement on the West Coast. It is located 96 kilometres north-east by road from Westport and is at the end of the road. To the East of the resort, is native bush, palm trees, rain forest, and the Kahurangi National Park, while to the West, there's nothing but the Tasman Sea.
The resort has plenty of different kinds of accommodation for all types of budget from cottages at NZ$155 per night for two people, to lodge with ensuite at NZ$107 per night for two people and backpackers dorm at NZ$37 per person per night (prices in 2019). The resort also has a licensed restaurant, cafe, and bar.
I drove to the Last Resort Karamea from Charleston with a photographer friend I had met on my trip to New Zealand. Charleston to Karamea is a driving distance of about 121 km that we covered in just under two hours. Earlier in the day we had gone caving and saw the glowworms at the Metro/Te Ananui Caves, and after a quick lunch of fish and chips at a roadside cafe, we drove to Karamea.
From the moment I entered, I fell in love with the resort. Just the idea of having something so upmarket in the middle of nowhere was terrific. I stayed at the lodge with ensuite that had a private shower. The room was clean and comfortable and had plenty of natural light coming in.
We stayed at the resort for only one night, but I wished I had stayed an extra couple of nights to enjoy some excellent Kiwi hospitality. The food was good, and the coffee was great. If I am in the area again, I will like to stay here longer. The hosts Tania and Ed are beautiful people.