Walk the Truman Track in Paparoa National Park

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A very short walk through dense rain forest opens up to a hidden beach along the Tasman sea.

Just a couple miles north of the Punakaiki Beach Camp in Paparoa National Park along the West Coast of New Zealand is this very short yet very rewarding walk. Parking is just feet south of the Te Nikau Retreat access road and right across the well marked and maintained Truman Track trail head on State Highway 6, designated on the map. The first half mile is through very dense rain forest ferns and palms before opening up to coastal flax plants on the upper beachhead. Be sure to stay on the trail as the surrounding growth is sensitive.

The views then shift down to your right of the hidden beach strewn with fine gravel, shells, rock formations, and a small waterfall right onto the beach below. Walk down the staircase, careful of your footing, and feel free to explore the area. Easiest time to explore is at low tide. Could be a little more hairy at times of high tide, I am not exactly sure how high the water gets. At low tide, you have plenty room to check out all of the unique formations along the beach front.

This walk is definitely recommend as it is very short, you don't have to plan your day around it, yet there is plenty to see, and it is very easy. Minimal elevation gain and is very short. How long it takes is mostly dependent on how long you decide to explore the beach! Would not recommend swimming as the currents are very strong and dangerous with all the rocky outcroppings. The return back to the parking lot is along the same trail you took to get to the beach. 

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • A Sense of Exploration!
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RT Distance 1 Miles
Elevation Gain 15 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby


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