Getting there & away
Karamea Express (03-782 6757; firstname.lastname@example.org) links Karamea and Westport (adult/child $27/17, 1½ hours, 7.50am Monday to Friday May to October, plus Saturday from November to April), departing the Last Resort. Cunningham’s Coaches (03-789 7177; 179 Palmerston St, Westport) does this trip as a mail run ($20, three hours, 5.45pm weekdays), departing from Karamea Hardware.
Karamea Express also services Kohaihai at the southern end of the Heaphy Track, departing Kohaihai at 1pm and 2pm during summer; phone for prices and off-season times. It also services the Wangapeka Track on demand. There are phones at both trailheads to arrange transport out to Karamea.
You can also fly from Karamea to Takaka (around $2000 per person) then walk back on the Heaphy Track; contact the visitor information centre for details.
Ask at Rongo Backpackers about transport to trailheads (Heaphy $10 per person, Wangapeka $15 per person), and to other destinations in the area including the Oparara Basin (per person $35).