All-Weather and Indoor Activities in Westport – Perfect for a Rainy Day!
Don’t let the rain stop your play! In Westport, you can learn to love the rain as much as the plants do. The West Coast town has a great selection of activities nearby where you’re going to get wet anyway, whether it’s surfing, white water rafting or mountain biking in the mud. Alternatively, you can find things to do around town that will keep you dry as a bone. Check out some of the historical artefacts at the Coaltown Museum. A good beverage at the brewery or a warm coffee in the many cafes is a good way to go too. We’ll go through it all in this list of things to do in Westport on a rainy day.
1. Visit the Coaltown Museum
Proud of its heritage, Westport features a great museum dedicated to the local history which is, you guessed it, coal mining! The Coaltown Museum offers a wide variety of artefacts and scenes from the coal mining era that made Westport the town that it is now. Note that there is a small admission fee to this museum. Plus, check out more museums nearby in the 10 Best Museums on the West Coast.
Location: 123-125 Palmerston Street.
2. Do a Tasting or Brewery Tour at the West Coast Brewery
Like any good New Zealand town, Westport is home to a few breweries. One of the most famous in town is West Coast Brewery that offers tours, tastings and a whole lot of laughter. The town is also dotted with many pubs, 13 of them in fact, so go on your own pub crawl and forget all about that grey sky.
Location: 10 Lyndhurst Street.
3. Check Out Westport’s Art Galleries
Westport has a few quaint art galleries worth discovering. The Whanake Gallery & Espresso Bar teams great coffee with artwork from a local artist and photographer focussing on the West Coast’s natural beauty. Alternatively, the Art Hotel is not only a budget accommodation in Westport but is an attraction in itself with a dedicated exhibition displaying contemporary art. See more experiences like this in the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Westport.
Location: Whanake Gallery & Espresso Bar – 173 Palmerston Street. Art Hotel – 10 Brougham Street, Westport town centre.
4. Hike the Charming Creek Walkway
We know what you’re thinking; a hike in the rain? Seriously?! Trust us, Charming Creek has it all and looks all the more epic under the rain or shortly after it: a swingbridge, rainforest, tunnels, and, of course, waterfalls! The larger waterfall of the hike grows to an impressive size after a good rainfall – an unmissable sight if you are lucky enough to encounter rain in the area. It’s one of the 10 Westport Must-Dos.
Location: Charming Creek Road, Seddonville, 56km (35 miles) north of Westport.
5. Grab a Coffee or a Bite to Eat
Like many towns in New Zealand, Westport has loads of great coffee places spread around the many colourful streets. We’ve already mentioned Whanake Gallery & Espresso Bar, which is a hotspot on cold days. Sit down at the Denniston Dog Restaurant & Bar for its stone grill experience and classic West Coast pub ambience or cosy up in one of the booths by the fire at Johnny’s. Whatever you choose, you’ll be glad to have found one of the awesome things to do in Westport on a rainy day.
Location: Whakane Gallery & Espresso Bar – 173 Palmerston Street. Denniston Dog Restaurant & Bar – 18 Wakefield Street. Johnny’s – 62 Palmerston Street.
6. Kick Back with a Movie at the NBS Theatre
We know, the cinema isn’t the most inspired rainy day activity but it’s still worth considering, especially in Westport. The NBS Theatre has two screens showcasing the latest blockbusters, which rarely feels crowded. Experience the charm of this small-town cinema for yourself.
Location: 105 Palmerston Street.
7. Go Glowworm Caving or Ride a Rainforest Train with Underworld Adventures
Hiding in caves is the most primal way to spend a rainy day, isn’t it? Only a few kilometres away from Westport, the small town of Charleston hides some of the most beautiful caves of the South Island. Visitors can make the most of it by taking part in an ultimate caving experience with Underworld Adventures involving tubing, climbing and glowworms! Alternatively, you can take a rainforest railway tour under the cover of the carriages.
Location: 7368 State Highway 6, Charleston, approximately 27km (18 miles) southwest of Westport.
8. Surf Westport’s Famous Breaks
If it’s already rainy then you might as well get really wet! Zip up your wetsuit and get yourself to North Beach or Tauranga Bay for some of Westport’s famous surf breaks! Beginners are best to take a surf lesson, which can be booked through Bazil’s Hostel & Surf School. Check out more of the 7 Places to Surf in the South Island.
Location: North Beach – Coates Street. Tauranga Bay – Tauranga Bay Road, approximately 17km (10.5 miles) from Westport. Bazil’s Hostel – Russell Street.
9. Go White Water Rafting
In the same spirit of being wet anyway, did you know that only a short drive away from Westport is the Buller River, one of New Zealand’s most epic rivers for white water rafting? With its huge amount of rapids, you are sure to get as wet as it gets and forget all about this pesky rain. Ultimate Descents offers exciting white water rafting adventures for all ages and abilities. They are based in Murchison, which is a good one to do on your way in or out of Westport. For more white water rafting inspiration, check out 7 Places to go White Water Rafting in New Zealand.
Location: 38 Waller Street, Murchison, approximately 96km (60 miles) from Westport town centre.
10. Have a Splash at the Local Swimming Pool
Westport is a town on the move. The town also has a modern sports complex complete with an indoor heated swimming pool and a gym at the Pulse Energy Recreation Centre. This is your chance to get rid of that excess weight that you have been carrying from the 25 Foods You Have to Try in New Zealand…
Location: Corner of Pakington and Domett Streets.
11. Do Some Rainy Day Mountain Biking
Wait for a break in the rain, grab a bike and go crazy! We all know that mountain biking is much more fun in the mud. The tracks are more challenging and even the easiest track can turn into an extreme sport. Check out the tracks at the Kawatiri Beach Reserve. Find out more about cycling the trail with our Mountain Biking on the West Coast Guide.
Location: Kawatiri Beach Reserve along North Beach.
12. Binge-Watch 365 Days, 365 Activities in New Zealand
Who doesn’t like a shameless binge-watching session on YouTube? Get some inspiration for your next activity in New Zealand by watching this intrepid pair take on 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand! Make sure you subscribe.