Tucked away in the remote north-west corner of the South Island at the end of a no-exit road, Karamea is the quintessential slice of paradise. With relatively few people and vast wildness on its doorstep, the hustle and bustle of the world quickly fades from your memory soon after you arrive.
Due to its isolation the township is relatively small, with a resident population of just 375 people. There’s a 4-Square supermarket, petrol station, a hotel, a small number of accommodation providers and café/restaurants, and a few tourism operators, but there aren’t too many more facilities than that. When I visited the area recently I stayed at the colourful Rongo, which has just completed the transition from a backpackers to bed and breakfast. An amazing garden, a wonderful and eclectic collection of art, and the best dinner in town make Rongo a must-stay!