I was keen to see some quintessential West Coast scenery when we visited the Coast’s northernmost town of Karamea for the first time. A four kilometre section of the multiday Heaphy Track offers just that: a selection of nikau palm lined beaches, lush rainforest and river scenery. The brochures suggest the hour long walk to Scotts Beach as a short day-walk, but continuing on to Big Rock Beach and Swanburn Bridge provides better scenery for not much more effort. I was especially impressed with the nikau palms besides Big Rock Beach, and dense bush lining the Swan Burn (River).
It’s an easygoing walk that is well worth the drive to literally the end of the road. Track notes at the end.
Heaphy Track to Big Rock Beach & Swan Burn: The Scenery
The track is constructed the whole way, and you can visit both Scotts Beach and Big Rock Beach. Note that sections can get flooded in wild weather when the seas are big. We also did the short Nikau Palm Walk which was very nice. More info on walks around Karamea in this DOC brochure.