Sand Dunes and grass vegetation at famous Wharariki Beach.

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Wharariki Beach

Top choice in Nelson Region

This remote, dramatically beautiful beach is a magnificent introduction to the West Coast, with a seal colony at its eastern end and otherworldly rock formations scattered about including, just offshore, the extraordinary Archway Islands. As inviting as the water may seem, don't even think about swimming: strong undertows make it incredibly dangerous. From the turn-off at Puponga it's 6km along an unsealed road, then a 1km walk from the car park over farmland (part of the DOC-administered Puponga Farm Park).

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