Carters Beach

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Carters Beach
Coastal settlement
Carters Beach at low tide
Carters Beach at low tide
Coordinates: 41°44′52.8″S 171°33′43.2″E / 41.748000°S 171.562000°E / -41.748000; 171.562000
CountryNew Zealand
RegionWest Coast Region
DistrictBuller District
ElectoratesWest Coast-Tasman
Te Tai Tonga
 • Total0.59 km2 (0.23 sq mi)
 • Total330
 • Density560/km2 (1,400/sq mi)
Carters Beach Domain looking northeast

Carters Beach is a suburb of Westport on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. Located 6 kilometres (4 mi) west of Westport on State Highway 67A,[2] it offers a pristine sheltered sandy beach on the West Coast suitable for swimming.[3] From the Buller River jetty at the east end of Carters Beach, west to Cape Foulwind, the beach runs for more than 9 uninterrupted kilometres.

The Kawatiri Coastal Trail is under construction and is expected to be completed in 2021.[4] The bike trail will connect Westport to Carters Beach, and continue south to Charleston. In Carters Beach, it passes through wetlands, past the golf course, and through the domain (public park) as it winds its way south.[5]

An 18-hole golf course[6] and Westport Airport[7] are located near the town.[3] Erosion along Rotary Road in 2018 resulted in the closure of the beachside road and threatened the possible closure of the nearby airport.[8] However, in 2020 the road along the beach to the west side of the Buller River mouth was rebuilt as a bike and pedestrian path. Granite rock has been piled along the beach to prevent further erosion and impact to the airport.

The town offers accommodations and a restaurant.

Carters Beach was named after an early settler who farmed the area in the late 1800s.[3]


Carters Beach is defined by Statistics New Zealand as a rural settlement and covers 0.59 km2 (0.23 sq mi). It is part of the wider Westport Rural statistical area, which covers 90.06 km2 (34.77 sq mi).[9]

The population of Carters Beach was 330 in the 2018 census, a decrease of 9 from 2013, and an increase of 36 from 2006. There were 177 males and 156 females. 306 people (92.7%) identified as European/Pākehā, 45 (13.6%) as Māori, 3 (0.9%) as Pacific peoples, and 6 (1.8%) as Asian. 72 people (21.8%) were under 15 years old, 18 (5.5%) were 15–29, 153 (46.4%) were 30–64, and 87 (26.4%) were over 65.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Age and sex by ethnic group (grouped total response), for census usually resident population counts, 2006, 2013, and 2018 Censuses (urban rural areas)". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  2. ^ "Carters Beach". Carters By the Sea Motel.
  3. ^ a b c Nathan, Simon (23 February 2009). "West Coast places". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage.
  4. ^ "Kawatiri Coastal Trail".
  5. ^ "Kawatiri Coastal Trail Map – Westport to Charleston, West Coast". Kawatiri Coastal Trail. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  6. ^ "My Homepage". Westport Golf Club. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  7. ^ "Buller District Council, New Zealand » Airport". Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  8. ^ Redmond, Adele (3 February 2018). "Storm accelerates coastal erosion at Carters Beach".
  9. ^ "ArcGIS Web Application". Retrieved 12 February 2021.

Coordinates: 41°45′S 171°34′E / 41.750°S 171.567°E / -41.750; 171.567