I recall learning about Karamea at school and have harboured a romantic notion of a land-locked subtropical paradise at the north end of the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island ever since. So it was with considerable enthusiasm that we were finally going to take the road north of Westport to Karamea. I had no idea of the inland pass over various saddles from Mokihinui to Little Wanganui through wonderful beech forests to get there. I had expected to find a thriving tourist town at Karamea servicing the Heaphy Track but it wasn’t really a town at all. Nevermind, Karamea is a District and its remoteness is part of it’s charm. Taylor was absorbed by the stony beach, we loved the estuary and the plentiful Nikau at the bottom of the Heaphy Track.