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We’re getting adventurous on this 700km double loop out of Nelson, encompassing a wide variety of terrain and interesting sights. Now no way should you try and do this in a day, but take at least 2 or 3 or more to get the best out of it.

The road winds alongside many rivers, but particularly following the majestic Buller Gorge is one you’ll remember, especially where it narrows to squeeze round the rock face! Once over the on West Coast you have dramatic seascapes, particularly with the blow holes at Punakaiki, plus the historical interests of places like Reefton. 

Trekking back towards but not over the Lewis Pass, you can relax in the Hot Springs at Maruia and later enjoy the tranquil waters and woodland walks of Lake Rotoriti. Add to those all the activities, dining and shopping available in Nelson itself and you have the ingredients for a superb road trip.

Northern West Coast Loops

Delights that await you...

Click through the gallery below to see just some of the delights that await you en route, many of which were taken on my own adventures, (you can probably spot those ones….)

Buller River Gorge-ous...

Westport is a good stop for twitchers...

The dramatic Punakaiki Rocks

The Bearded Miners of Reefton, spinners of good yarns...

Bet your hot tub doesn't have the backdrop views Maruia Springs does...

Lake Rotoriti

You've got to do a bit of steep walking to catch this view of Lake Rotoriti

Alfa enjoys Lake Rotoriti

Lake Rotoriti

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Which car to take...?

Our classic 1993 Alfa Romeo Spider S4 makes this road trip a real adventure. We know it likes the roads as we’ve taken it this route, and it’s got plenty of pep and luggage space for the journey. The manual gear change keeps you nicely involved plus driving it you’ll be adding to the historical interests and discussions along this varied route!

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