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Getting Here and Around
You can fly in direct from various places by either small fixed-wing plane or helicopter, although both are extremely weather dependent. HeliCharter Karamea specializes in scenic flights but also operates helicopter transfers and day trips to and from Karamea. They provide a shuttle service to the Wangapeka and Heaphy Tracks, hunting and fishing, kayaking, and heli-rafting. Remote Adventures runs Heaphy Track hikers between the Brown Hut, Karamea, Nelson, Motueka, and Takaka with a fixed-wing small plane service, which holds four trampers. They also run scenic flights in summer.
Karamea is a 100-km (62-mi) drive north of Westport on State Highway 67. Fill up with fuel before leaving Westport as there are no fuel stops between there and Karamea. It's a 16-km (10-mi) drive north from Karamea to Kohaihai, the southern end and entrance to the Heaphy Track.
Hikers arrive at Karamea by the 78-km (48-mi), five-day hike over the Heaphy Track from Golden Bay.
It's a 45-minute drive from Karamea to the Oparara caves system. Follow the road north to Kohaihai for 10 km (6 mi) then turn right into McCallums Mill Road. Follow the signs along this gravel road. Note that the access road to the Oparara area is not suitable for large camper vans. Walks range from 10 minutes to 10 hours; the Oparara Arch is a 25-minute walk each way from the parking lot. Contact the Karamea Information & Resource Centre for information on cave tours.
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