Point Elizabeth Walkway

Track category

Walking track

Time:  

1 hr 45 min one way

Distance:  

5.5km one way

Description

A stunning, well surfaced, coastal walkway. Enjoy walking through varied and interesting forest to a panoramic, cliff top viewing platform. Point Elizabeth track is a perfect walk for families and children.

View toward Point Elizabeth from Rapahoe
View toward Point Elizabeth from Rapahoe Beach

From its northern (Rapahoe) end the track climbs to an open terrace with slowly regenerating in native growth after years of farming. Beyond there, in Rapahoe Scenic Reserve, one of the finest remaining tracts of mixed coastal forest in New Zealand extends from the limestone range out to the cliff edge.

Gradually the sea can be heard again as big forest gives way to more stunted growth and waves of flax on the Point Elizabeth headland. The exposed rocky point lookout has views south toward Mt Cook, north along a spectacular rocky coast and inland towards the Paparoa Mountain Range. Offshore 'sea stacks' remain as a reminder that the point once extended much farther out to sea. After winding and undulating for a while the track begins to descend toward Cobden's North Beach.

The stunning subtropical forest features nikau palms and mamaku (black tree fern) intertwined with supple jack vines and kiekie. There are also large podocarps like rimu, kahikatea and miro along with epiphytic northern rata adding a splash of crimson during summer. Native birds such as fantails, tomtits, grey warblers and bellbirds are plentiful at any time of year.

The track is mostly level, as it follows an old water race built by 19th century miners to sluice their gold claims. Much of the track formation also dates from this era, including deep cuttings that would have required considerable effort with pick and shovel.

Getting there

Point Elizabeth can be easily accessed from Greymouth.  To reach the northern end drive to Rapahoe on SH6 from Greymouth (about 11km). For the southern end drive via Cobden onto Bright Street, Domett Esplanade and North Beach Road (about 6 km). There are car parks at both ends.

Activities

Bird and wildlife watching Bird and wildlife watching

Bird and wildlife watching

At the Point you may see seals, Hector's dolphins and seabirds. Along the track you may encounter a variety of different forest birds.

 

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Safety

Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

Alerts for West Coast places

Contacts

Reefton Visitor Centre i-SITE Information Centre
Phone:      +64 3 732 8391
Email:   reefton@i-site.org
Full office details
Māwhera / Greymouth Office
Phone:      +64 3 768 0427
Email:   greymouth@doc.govt.nz
Full office details

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