Truman Track is a walk through unspoiled subtropical forest where podocarp and rātā trees tower above thickets of vine and nīkau palms.
The track emerges on a spectacular coastline with cliffs, caverns, a blowhole and a waterfall that plummets straight onto a rock-strewn beach. Get spectacular coastal views from a viewing platform.
A stairway provides access to the beach at low tide. Do not use the stairway at high tide or when the seas are rough – it is not safe to go onto the beach at these times, as you could get washed out to sea by a wave. Check the tide times
If you are exploring the beach:
- Do not stand under the overhangs or close to the cliff faces. Large rocks can fall and sections can collapse at any time.
- Take care not to get trapped by the tide coming in. The bay furthest from the stairway is cut off from the other beach at high tide.
- Stay away from the sea. There can be rogue waves (unpredictable waves that are much larger than those around them) and the currents in the bay are strong and dangerous.
The start of the track is off SH 6, 3 km north of the Paparoa National Park Visitor Centre in Punakaiki.
There is a small carpark on the other side of SH6 from the track entrance. Take great care when crossing the state highway, as it is a 100km speed area.
Plan your trip for low tide, if you want to explore the beach
The beach is not safe at high tide or during rough seas
Image: Di Clendon, DOC
The safest time to visit the beach at Truman Track is during low tide and in calm sea conditions. It is not safe at high tide or during rough seas, as people could get washed into the sea by a wave.
At higher tide times, we advise not going onto the beach and enjoying the coastline from a viewing platform at the end of the track instead. Find a tide forecast for Greymouth here.
If the tide is high and the sea is particularly rough, waves may wash across the track near the viewing platform. We recommend avoiding the track in these conditions.
Stay away from the overhangs and cliff faces
When passing under the overhang at the base of the steps, move through quickly and don’t stop here. View the other overhangs and cliff faces from a distance or from the viewing platforms.
The sandstone / limestone can have soft patches and is constantly eroded by waves at high tide. This means sections could collapse unexpectedly and large rocks can fall from the overhangs and cliffs – these could badly injure people underneath.
Never swim here and keep away from the water’s edge
Like many West Coast beaches, the Truman Track beach has very strong and dangerous currents – it’s not a suitable place for swimming.
Rogue waves can happen at any time, so we advise keeping away from the water’s edge. Never turn your back to the sea.