Paparoa National ParkWest Coast

The Truman Track, Punakaiki

Located a few kilometres north of the famous Pancake Rocks, the Truman Track is a nice little walk to a couple of viewpoints and then down to one of the best beaches on the West Coast. It’s not the reason you’ll visit Punakaiki but it’s good dessert after the main course (the main course being the Pancake Rocks – pancakes can be dinner I guess!). Are you thinking of walking the Truman Track? Keep reading for more information!

The Truman Track

It takes around 30 minutes (return) to walk the Truman Track and it’s fairly easy going. The track heads down through the forest for a while before opening out to great views of the coastline back towards the Pancake Rocks and Truman Beach below. It’s nowhere near strenuous and it’s a nice little add-on to the Pancake Rocks, which is why I’m assuming you’re visiting Punakaiki in the first place.

Truman Beach

It’s fair to say the West Coast isn’t exactly blessed with nice beaches. They tend to be the rugged, rocky and driftwood-covered variety, but there are some West Coast beaches worth checking out. Truman Beach is one of them. It’s full of small stones (not your typical beach paradise) but it’s a peaceful little spot and being small you can easily walk the length of it. There’s even waterfall crashing down the cliffs — well it wasn’t exactly crashing when we were there (we could barely see it) but I’m sure it looks more impressive after heavy rain.

Getting to the Truman Track

The Truman Track is a few minutes north of the Pancake Rocks. There’s a car park across the road or I’m sure you could walk if you don’t have your own transport. Punakaiki, the small tourist town, is around 4 hours drive from Christchurch, one hour from Westport and 45 minutes from Greymouth. Punakaiki is located on the “Great Coast Road”, which was recently named one of the best coastal drives in the world by Lonely Planet (although at this point, what area hasn’t been featured on one of these Lonely Planet lists?).

Walks nearby

You’ll obviously want to check out the Pancake Rocks (they deserve the hype) but there’s another fun walk nearby which isn’t quite as popular. The Pororari River Track is quite a unique place (in New Zealand at least) — you can’t beat those lush river views!

Are you planning to walk the Truman Track? What’s your favourite short walk in New Zealand? Let us know in the comments below!

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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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