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Karamea is a meagre settlement at the north eastern corner of the South Island. An old mining town, it is just recently gaining recognition among backpackers as an unspoilt area of natural beauty perfect for a relaxing getaway. It is surrounded by lush rainforest and sandy beaches, and it is a good base for exploring the exquisite Oparara Basin and Kahurangi Gorge. There is great hiking, swimming, kayaking, fishing and surfing in the area. Its isolation means that facilities are limited for backpackers, so it is best to bring food supplies if you are on a strict budget. There is a supermarket and an excellent hostel in town and the area is full of attractions, so it is worth spending a few days to explore.

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