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Traveling 1 1/2 hours north from Westport to Karamea is worth your time and effort. This little corner of paradise is snuggled into the warm northwest part of the South Island and is, in fact, much farther north than Wellington. It is the terminal point of the Heritage Highway, the gateway to the Kahurangi National Park - the beginning of a natural heaven. It's my favorite part of the West Coast - all those nikau palms are just so unexpected.