Charleston trip planner
Create a fully customized
day-by-day itinerary for free
Things to do: adventure, sightseeing
Charleston is a village in the South Island of New Zealand located 30 km south of Westport. It was founded as a goldmining town after a major goldrush in 1867, and is now an adventure tourist village noted for its extensive limestone caves and caving experiences. Guided tours of the nearby Metro Cave / Te Ananui Cave are operated out of Charleston and travel up the Nile River valley.HistoryCharleston’s origins owe much to gold prospector William Fox. He was born in Ireland in about 1826 and as a young man became a sailor, then a gold prospector. He was on the Californian goldfields about 1850; then on the Victorian goldfields in Australia; and on the Tuapeka goldfield in Otago in 1861.In 1862 Bill Fox's prospecting activities in the Arrow district excited intense interest. In 1864, Fox travelled to the West Coast. He prospected widely for gold and first discovered it at Fox Creek, a tributary of the Arahura River behind Hokitika, in January 1865.According to local historian Les Wright, in July 1866 Fox organised a prospecting voyage to what was later named Fox River but didn't find gold there. He led the party on 20 km north to where Charleston would later be, but although they found gold in the sand there, it was too fine to save. So Fox went south to Ōkārito to find out how the miners there were extracting it from fine sand.In August 1866, while Fox was away, took the credit for the Pakihi ('Parkeese') field which later became known as the Charleston field. At first, goods going to 'Parkeese' were landed at Woodpecker Bay, south of Fox River, and humped about 20 km north to the goldfield. Then Capt Charles Bonner managed to squeeze the ketch 'Constant' into a tiny bay near 'Parkeese' and the town that formed around this new landing spot, Constant Bay, was named Charleston, probably in his honour. Reed (2002) indicates that the community was originally known as 'Charlie's Town', and then 'Charles Town', before settling on the current name.Our New Zealand holiday planner combines visitor reviews with your personal interests to make an itinerary informed by experts, but tailored to suit your style.
Create a full itinerary — for free!
Plan your trip to Charleston
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Book itChoose from the best hotels
and activities. Up to 50% off
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
Best things to do in Charleston
Visit for: 1h
Visit for: 3h
River Rafting & Tubing
Visit for: 4h
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Visit for: 3h 30min
Visit for: 3h 30min
Visit for: 3h
Where to stay in Charleston
Browse hundreds of hotels and read guest reviews on the world's leading online travel agency website.
CHECK IN - CHECK OUT
Millions of travel reviews
Extend your holiday
Visit top cities near Charleston:
Recently planned trips to Charleston
20 days in South Island BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, culture, outdoors, beaches, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 43 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM GERMANY March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Charleston BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 19 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans