Travel to Westport

We suggest the following options for getting to Westport.


Westport (WSZ) has a small airport serviced by Air New Zealand from Wellington (WLG). Thus it is possible to get a Star Alliance fare from your destination directly to Westport. The flight schedule is
Wellington to Westport 

   NZ 8789 leave 12:40 pm (Mon-Fri)
   NZ 8791 leave 12:30 pm (Sun)

Westport to Wellington
   NZ 8788 leave 1:55 pm (Mon-Fri)
   NZ 8792 leave 1:45 pm (Sun)
The flight takes 55 minutes. A gotogo (cheapest) fare from Auckland to Westport via Wellington and return is approximately $NZ 300 / $US 125 (or $NZ 200 / $US 85 from Wellington to Westport return). It may be possible to get international tickets to Westport (and a variety of destinations within New Zealand) for little or no extra charge. We suggest not staying till the Sunday flight out of Westport, but rather going by car to Christchurch on Friday or Saturday and then flying from there, or even flying out of Westport Friday afternoon.


The largest city in the South Island is Christchurch (CHC) (venue for the last conference) which is easy to get to. Shayne will travel from Christchurch to Westport on Sunday 17 February via Arthurs Pass (scenic, about 5 hours driving time). Rick will take a van or bus from Christchurch on Monday 18 February via the Lewis Pass (scenic, about 5 hours driving time). We hope to be able to offer transport for those arriving in Christchurch who need it.

We also highly recommend hiring a car in Christchurch (Westport is small, so selection and price is limited) and driving there, then continuing on to visit some other beautiful and interesting places after the conference. Many car hire places are on the web, the big ones Avis, Hertz, etc are the most expensive, and so should be avoided if possible.

If any one gets what they consider a good deal, then let us know and we will put the information here.

Tourism suggestions

Rick suggests

    If you have approximately 7 days apart from
    the conference the we would suggest a concentration
    on the South Island.

    Suggestion 1. 
Day 1:   Fly into Auckland (flights typically arrive early am)
         and down to Wellington.

         Shower freshen up and spend some time at 
         the National Museum, Te Papa.   

         bed in early evening to shake the jet lag.

 (Alternative save this day by flying straight into
  Christchurch. Goto day 2.)

Day 2: Fly to Christchurch in the am.

       Hire a car or camper van. Drive to Hamner (2hours)
       Swim in the hotpools. Walk in the forest.

Day 3: Drive to Westport via the Lewis Pass. 
    (A further 3 hours)

(Alternative collapse days 2 and 3 together, and skip Hamner
 taking in the hot pools at Maruia Springs Hotel just over
 Lewis Pass instead. The view from these hot pools
 is unbeatable.)

Day 4: Tuesday Westport.

       Conference (Westport is in the middle of
       an area of coast and rainforest. A car perhaps shared 
       with other accompanied persons will be supremely 
       useful for partners as it will give them access
       to many beautiful places and short walks
      (30 minutes up to a few hours), nice cafes and 
      restaurants  etc.)

Day 3. Wednesday. Base Westport. 

       Conference shifts to Punakaiki for the day.
       Transport Westport Punakaiki return provided.
       A beautiful place to explore for delegates and

Day 4. Thursday. Base Westport.

       Day trip to Karamea and the end of the Heaphy track.
       In the evening many may wish to go blackwater rafting
       through a glowworm filled cave. This is a popular 
       commercial tourist activity. 
Day 5. Friday. Base Westport last day of conference.
               Evening visit seal colony.

Day 6. Start tour of South Island. 

Only 2 or 3 days extra

       If you have only 2 or 3 days extra we would suggest
       going back to Christchurch via Arthurs Pass.

       You could stay in Greymouth alone (1night)
       or Greymouth and Arthurs Pass
       or Greymouth and Christchurch.

4-6 nights extra
 We would suggest a tour of the Westcoast and out over
 the Haast Pass.
 You could stay the first night in Fox Glacier the ...

Post or pre conference hiking/tramping or sea kayaking.
  This activity would be best with companions and shared

1) The Heaphy track -- One can start at the Karamea or Collingwood 
   ends. You may need to fly from one end to the other
   or do an in out style trip covering the same ground twice.

2) Abel Tasman National Park.

   One can start at Marahau or Totaranui. There are boats
   that can drop one anywhere along the track. So one good scenario
   is to go to Marahau by car and then use the boats to
   Totaranui and walk back.

   Here the hiking is along beautiful beaches with many opportunities for
   swimming etc.  see e.g.


3) The Queen Charlotte Walkway. 
       (Special advantage easy to do with public transport)

   Starts and ends at Picton. You go to one end with a launch
   which for a moderate fee carries your main pack each day
   and also transports you at the end. Walking time 3-5 days
   depending on what you choose to do.

   We can recommend doing it stayin at the DOC
   campsites and travelling Endeavour Express.