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Gentle Annie Beach, West Coast

Gentle Annie Beach, West Coast

If you’re looking for somewhere to camp, eat and explore on the West Coast, consider a visit to Gentle Annie Beach. There’s a really good café there as well as a unique “maze” walk, and if you’re lucky you might even spot some dolphins.

Gentle Annie Beach

There’s quite a lot to see at Gentle Annie Beach, but what’s the beach itself like? It’s pretty good – messy in a typical West Coast way but perfect for long strolls. We saw a few people fishing there – apparently it’s a good spot to do it, both in the river and for a spot of surf casting from the beach.

Giraffe or camel?

The Café

We had no idea what we’d find at Gentle Annie Beach, but we definitely didn’t expect to find such a cool little café there. We had a delicious muffin as well as some whitebait from the food truck outside. One of the downsides to most beach-camping holidays in New Zealand is the lack of good food options at a lot of the less popular places – that’s not a problem at Gentle Annie Beach!

Note: The café has limited opening hours outside of summer

Gentle Annie Point Maze

Another surprising thing we found at Gentle Annie Beach is the maze. A lot of New Zealand beaches have headland walks, where you trudge up to get a view of the coastline. This place has one too, but it’s a bit different. From the carpark you’ll walk up a gravel road, and then into the maze itself.

It isn’t particularly hard to navigate, but it was cool to see someone doing something a little different with a walk like this. Once out of the maze you’ll reach a clearing where you’ll get some awesome views both north and south.

You can also continue down from that viewpoint to the beach below – the track was a bit dodgy though (and were feeling lazy) so we turned around soon after. We heard you can sometimes see dolphins from up there. Unfortunately, we didn’t, but keep you eyes peeled and let me know if you see one.

Seaside Accommodation

There’s heaps of room to camp at Gentle Annie Beach, but they also have some other accommodation options, including a lodge which sleeps up to 27 people and a cute little caravan for two.

Getting There

Gentle Annie Beach is around 40 minutes north of Westport. You’ll pass close by when travelling north to Karamea – if you’re not in too much of a hurry I reckon it’s a great spot to stop at for an hour or two, especially if you’re there around lunchtime!

Are you planning a holiday to New Zealand? Check out our South Island travel guide!

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Jon Algie

A travel blogger from New Zealand who has just returned home after 6 years abroad. Join me as I see as much of the South Island as I can.

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