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The Paparoa National Park is popular for day hikes, the Pack Track, and the Pancake Rocks.

The Ballroom Overhang is a hiking highlight in the Paparoa National Park. This trail includes 8 river crossings one way and can be hiked only in right weather conditions. The Fox River shouldn’t be higher than your knees at the first crossing. Check the weather forecast before hiking. Consider if there is rain predicted the water level can rise quickly and hikers can get trapped. It’s dangerous to hike here in flood.  Weather Forecast Punakaiki Area

Fording the Fox River to Ballroom Overhang in the Paparoa National Park

Weather Westport

It’s a mild climate due to the close location to the sea. Weather in NZ and especially on the West Coast is very changeable. You can experience 25°C / 77°F one day and the next day heavy rainfall and much colder temps. The warmest months are November to March. If you camp consider the average low night temps of around 10°C / 50°F. The average day temps are below 20°C / 68°F but can reach up to 30°C / 86°C in summer. Nights are pretty chilly from May to September. Rain is very common coming from the Tasman Sea on the West Coast on average each month more than 200 mm except February which is usually a little drier. Generally, spring (Sep.-Nov.) is the wettest time of the year.

Where to Stay Nearby:
  • If you want to spoil yourselves close to the Pancake Rocks, the Punakaiki Forest Retreat might be the best option.
  • Just within walking distance to the Pancake Rocks are the beautiful Hydrangea Cottages. They are perfectly located to watch the sunset.
Hiking
NZ New Zealand
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Truman Beach is a part of the Paparoa National Park; 3 km north of the Visitor Center and still not overrun. The track is well maintained. It's an approx.

When visiting the Pancake Rocks, you should not miss this walk to the gorgeous Truman Beach. It's overshaded by the Pancake Rocks but in our opinion a must. There are many photo ops. which are best late afternoon to evening when the sun is shining into the bay. Schedule an hour to 1 1/2 for the walk and the exploring. A waterfall occurs most of the time but not in the drier summer. The access to the beach is safe around low tide only. Tide times Westport

Truman Beach at Low Tide at the Paparoa National Park

Weather (Westport)

Usually, the summer is pleasant and the winter mild. The day temps in summer are around 25°C/77°F, in spring and fall up to 17°C/63°F. A high amount of precipitation throughout the year on average each month more than 200 mm except February which is usually a little drier. Spring is the wettest season influenced by the winds from the Tasman Sea. The rain increases quickly closer to the mountains. A local saying “go deep, go steep, get wet”.  Check conditions for hiking and the tides at the visitor center first.

Beach
NZ New Zealand