Hire a canoe from the Last Resort (tel. 03/782-6617; www.lastresort.co.nz) for NZ$35; or Karamea Motors (tel. 03/782-6757). Paddle in the safe estuaries, but be aware of tidal changes and keep away from river mouths. The Last Resort also hires kayaks from NZ$25.
There are over 320km (200 miles) of accessible heli-fishing on several backcountry rivers. The 40km (25 miles) of coastline are suitable for surf-casting, and the Karamea River is a trout fisherman's heaven. Trout licenses can be obtained from the Karamea Hardware Store, State Highway 67, Market Cross, on a daily, weekly, or annual basis.
The whitebait season is from September 1 to November 14. Whitebait are the young of three main species of migrating fish. They're considered a delicacy and found predominantly on the West Coast. Special rules and regulations apply for whitebaiters, so make sure you get a copy of them from the Department of Conservation or the Karamea Information & Resource Centre.
Mountain biking is prohibited in Kahurangi National Park, but if you'd like to ride in other areas, the Last Resort and Karamea Motors have bikes for rent.
There are two major hikes in this area - the famous Heaphy Track, which is suitable for trampers of all ages, and the Wangapeka Track, which is better suited to the well-equipped tramper. Both tracks take about 4 days, and both require hut ticket passes available from the Karamea Information & Resource Centre. Parts of the Wangapeka Track have been washed out by flooding, so always check first with the information center to make sure it is open.
There are also many excellent short walks. For the Nikau Loop Walk, drive to the Kohaihai River mouth at the start of the Heaphy Track. The walk is suitable for all ages and takes 40 minutes. Heaphy Hut Walk gives you a 5-hour taste (round-trip) of the Heaphy Track. Guided walk companies operating in this area include Kahurangi Guided Walks, Dodson Road, Takaka, Golden Bay (tel. 03/525-7177; www.heaphey-track.co.nz); and Bush and Beyond Guided Treks, 35 School Rd., Motueka (tel. 03/528-9054; www.naturetreks.co.nz).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.