Welcome to Charleston & Around
The northernmost section of the Great Coast Road plies gold-mining history, dreamy coast and quiet farmland on its way between Westport and Punakaiki's Pancake Rocks. Roughly midway is Charleston, an 1860s gold-rush boom town that once boasted 80 hotels, three breweries and hundreds of thirsty gold-diggers staking claims along the Nile River. There's not much left now except a motel, camping ground, a clutch of local houses, and the brilliant Underworld Adventures, with whom you can explore some utterly amazing hidden treasures.
South of Charleston is where the Great Coast Road becomes truly enthralling, with a series of dramatic bays. Drive as slowly as the traffic behind you will allow.