West Coast Off The Beaten Path

  • bulller Gorge
    bulller Gorge
    by balhannah
  • Maruia falls
    Maruia falls
    by balhannah
  • Buller Gorge
    Buller Gorge
    by balhannah

West Coast Off The Beaten Path

  • Walks and more at peaceful Lake Brunner

    Lake Brunner is just a little detour from Arthur's Pass on the way to the West Coast. Moana, the main town which is nestled at the northern end of the lake, is just 35kms south-east of Greymouth. The TranzAlpine train stops there.Although many holiday homes are mushrooming in Moana, the lake still has a relaxing atmosphere. Apart from the typical...

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  • History and stories about Blackball

    Before I had ever visited Blackball or read about it in a travel guide it was already familiar to me. I had heard about it on TV several times and read about it in the newspaper for weeks. Obviously a released sex-offender and child predator had moved to Blackball. When the inhabitants knew about it, they raised posters and camped opposite his...

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  • Stop off at Lake Mahinapua Scenic...

    If you didn't stop off at Hokitiki and need a break from the road traveling to Franz Josef Glacier, pull over at Lake Mahinapua Scenic Reserve - about 10km south of Hokitiki. The inland lake offers a few short walks and the Mahinapua Walkway, lots of ferns, podocarp and hardwood species, as well as black swans and ducks.There is a campsite for...

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  • Seals at Cape Foulwind

    Take a short detour on SH67, which becomes Cape Foulwind Rd, and turn right into Lighthouse Rd, which will bring you to panoramic Cape Foulwind Clifftop views. If you're keen for a stroll, tramp from the car park along the clifftop to the Cape Foulwind seal colony. If not, return the way you've driven and turn right into Tauranga Bay Rd and right...

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  • Reefton - where the first Lights Went on

    Somehow it comes as a surprise why the coal-mining town of Reefton is "The Town of Light". Although it is not a real centre of attention, on the way to the West Coast via Lewis Pass (and Hanmer Springs), in 1888 this old gold mining town was the first place in the southern hemisphere to have public supply of hydro-electric power. I read on their...

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  • Step into a Fairy-Tale on Minnehaha Walk...

    I list this little walk under Off the Beaten Path because no one would ever visit the township of Fox Glacier just for this. Everybody comes to walk on or to the glacier, so first heads to the booking office, does his glacier tourism, and if time allows, heads to nearby Lake Matheson and hope to get mirror views of the Southern Alps' highest...

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  • Water sports and walks at Lake Kaniere...

    You would not call Lake Kaniere, 18kms south-east of Hokitika, picturesque. But it is a great inland lake for water activities like jet-skiing and boating, and also a lot of anglers are seen there.The other great activity is walking. The lake is surrounded by rather flat tracks which are good to stay active but no big challenges. The Lake Kaniere...

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  • Last Stop Karamea: West Coast at its...

    They call it "The West Coast's Best Kept Secret" and a secluded haven. And sure - this place is never inundated with tourists. There are no visitors who just have a quick look, and the reason is clear: Karamea is the last town in the North of the West Coast, at the end of the road... Ok... There are some more kilometres of road North of Karamea...

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  • The Black Gold of Denniston

    Coal mining has always been a big issue on the West Coast, and still locals who live from the industry hate people who want to stop coal mining and instead - that is the actual hot topic - save the live of snails and Happy Valley. Coal mining is the Coast's life artery, so arguments heat up fast, and it can happen that some environmentalist's...

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  • Tramping from Gillespies to Galway Beach

    Already the way to the starting point of this coastal walk (3.5 to 4 hrs return) is an adventure of its own. About 12kms of the 21kms from Fox Village - right after a fantastic and unexpected viewing point of Fox Glacier - lead through native bush on a narrow and winding gravel road, with oncoming campervans on your side...Gillespies Beach is a...

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  • Meet the Tuis on the Way to Lake Wombat...

    This is a nice little walk of 1 to 1.5hrs return. The destination - Lake Wombat - is idyllic but not very spectacular although it offers mirror views of the surrounding bush. But the walk is so pleasant because it leads through wonderful rainforest with lots of ferns and moss-covered rimu trees along a very comfortable track, and you can watch a...

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West Coast Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of West Coast off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for West Coast sightseeing.
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