West Coast Things to Do

  • Perfectly still
    Perfectly still
    by abi_maha
  • Franz Josef Glacier
    Franz Josef Glacier
    by JohanIsWeg
  • Gold Panning
    Gold Panning
    by freshia

West Coast Things to Do

  • Whataroa - White Herons and an historic...

    Whataroa is one of those tiny townships on SH6. It is located about 30 km north of Franz Josef Village, and famous for its tours to the White Heron Sanctuary, the only breeding colony in New Zealand. The name in the Maori language Te Reo refers to the long staging used for suspending eels, fish, and birds, ready for feasts held there for guests or...

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  • Explore Franz Josef Glacier

    Update April 2012As Franz Josef glacier is receding, it is currently not possible to hike up to the glacier via the terminal face. This means that the "normal" walks are not on offer. Instead Glacier Guides have decided to avoid the unstable terminal face altogether and access the glacier by helicopter. This does not only raise tourists to the ice...

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  • The Glacier Alternative at Fox Glacier

    They are funny at Fox Glacier: To name all the things that are better than at Franz Josef the privately owned operating company compare their plus points to the "other local glacier". And those plus points are: Fox Glacier is 13kms and therefore 2kms longer than Franz Josef; it takes only half an hour to get to Fox and one hour to FJ; Fox is less...

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  • Learn more about Franz Josef and Fox...

    Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers are unique in the world and, of course, unique in New Zealand. They are the only two of the still 1000 more or less large glaciers or eternal snow-patches of the Southern Alps that are not incised back to the Main Divide, but run down towards the West Coast and therefore end up in the rainforest, to an incredibly low...

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  • Cape Foulwind

    Captain James Cook, the first European explorer to chart New Zealand, landed here and named this place after the strong, often cold wind that blows here nearly all the time. Despite this, it's still worth a visit just for the spectacular coastal scenery. The hike is about a mile and a half each way. It's best to arrange for a pickup at the car park...

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  • Indoor Ice Climbing Wall at Franz Josef...

    Update April 2011This tourism venture has closed down in the meantime. I think it did not work because you could get the same activity outdoors, in much nicer and natural surroundings, and it was just far too expensive.Instead the building now houses the West Coast Wildlife Centre. If you are lucky you can see a kiwi hatch. Ngai Tahu, the South...

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  • Lessons about the Glaciers at Franz...

    Tip updated in April 2011The Interpretive Exhibit was the main part of the failed Glacier Experience Hukawai ("melt water") at Franz Josef. It is now part of the West Coast Wildlife Centre, located in the same premises.First of all I have to say that even I could learn things about nature and history of the glacier region around Franz Josef and Fox...

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  • Just enough to do to fill a day in...

    There is not a real lot to do in Greymouth if you do not have a car - but enough to fill a day. In the town itself you can stroll along the Grey River, walk up the hill on a zig-zag track for great views of town, river, and sea (King Domain Walk, 1.5 hours return). See more walks here: http://www.greydistrict.co.nz/greymouth/walks.asp You can tour...

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  • Hokitica - La ciudad del - " Pounamu " -...

    Esta es la ciudad del Jade , en una calle como las del Oeste se pued ver a los grandes talladores de jade , las tiendas y los museos en los que se pueden ver bonitas obras de arte , desde luego también hay tiendas Durante cientos de años Hokitika y sus alrededores, especialmente en el río Arahura, han sido importantes a escala nacional como fuente...

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  • Franz Joseph Glacier

    Llegamos por la tarde , con un tiempo espléndido y con todo despejado se podían ver las montañas Pensábamos descansar tranquilamente por el pueblo para ir al día siguiente a ver el Glaciar , pero cuando reservamos la habitación para dormir nos dijeron que fueramos a verlo esa misma tarde pues al día siguiente nadie sabe lo que podía pasar ....

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  • 'Punakaiki : Parque - Paparoa - National...

    El parque está junto a la carretera y hay que dar un pequeño paseo para llegar al acantilado desde donde se pueden ver los famosos "pancakes" y todas las rocas que están sobre el mar Un paseo muy bonito y relajado The park is next to the road and you have to take a little walk to get to the cliff where you can see the famous pancakes and all the...

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  • Punakaiki : Parque - Paparoa - National...

    Con el nombre que le he dado a este tip poca gente sabrá que me estoy refiriendo a las "Tortitas" ( Pancakes)En cuanto se ven las fotos se da uno cuenta de porqué llaman así a esta formación rocosa Son formaciones de piedra caliza que se empezaron a formar hace 30 millones de años . Se depositaban en el fondo del mar los restos calizos de criaturas...

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  • El Cabo del viento horrible / Cape Foul...

    De nuevo nos aparece el Capitán Cook que cambió el nombre que le había dado Abel Tasman a este Cabo , Cabo de las rocas y lo llamó Cabo del Viento Horrible pues aquí con el Endeavour tuvo una experiencia poco agradable con el viento Desde el aparcamiento hay un paseo bien señalizado de 15 o 20 minutos hasta el promontorio desde donde se puede ver...

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  • Be blown away...

    Even without the Pancake Rocks, Dolomite Point's Blowholes, Punakaiki, would be worth the visit. A loop track winds its way from the main road through rainforest, flax and coastal vegetation to the eternal and epic struggle between land and sea...Massive waves roll in from the Tasman Sea and batter themselves against the limestone rock of Dolomite...

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  • Awesome Pancake Rocks

    One of the highlights of our trip to NZ - visiting Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki, on SH6 between Westport and Greymouth. A lovely walkway from the main road guides you on a loop track through the striated rock, with lookouts at all the best spots. Plenty of parking available, as well as information kiosk and convenience stores to quench a thirst or...

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  • Three in One: A Visit to the White Heron...

    You see photos of the white herons nesting in the canopies of high trees above the Waitangi Roto River, near the little township of Whataroa, and you are impressed. But at least I did not expect to see them really so close from a hide on the other side of the river. And you even get more after a minibus ride from the tour office in Whataroa, a 20...

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  • A detour not only for the seals of Cape...

    Most people have a look at the seals of Cape Foulwind, south of Westport, but most of them head straight back to the highway after having looked down to the rather far-away colony. They miss quite something, not only a café/restaurant with a great view (see restaurant tip "The Bay House") but also a fantastic beach named Carters Beach.This can be...

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  • Hari Hari - the Place to Remember a...

    Already the name of this place reads and sounds extraordinary: Hari Hari. If you want or not - you have to pass there if you travel on the SH 6 between the glaciers and Hokitika. Hari Hari is located on an incredibly wide and long straight stretch of road between Whataroa and Lake Ianthe. Have a short break if you are interested in daredevils in...

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  • Pancake Rocks most spectacular in Rough...

    Everybody stops at the Pancake Rocks of Punakaiki between Hokitika and Westport when travelling on the West Coast. Those columns of limestone, located at Dolomite Point, resembling stacks of pancakes are one of the major and most unique attractions.Of course, you hope for perfect sunshine during your holidays. But be assured: This is one of the...

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  • A Tough Walk on the Alex Knob Track...

    If you have spare time in Franz Josef and are quite fit you should consider to walk the Alex Knob Track. It takes between 6 and 8 hours return. It is a strenuous and wonderful walk at a time, as it offers great views of the glacier, the Waiho and Cook River valleys (the valleys of Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers), steadily changing flora and bird song...

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  • Franz Josef: Two offices, one company,...

    If you have decided to go on a glacier walk at Franz Josef, do not bother to compare the prices of the apparently two operators. There is only one operating company which is Glacier Guides. The competitor across the road (The Guiding Company) has been bought by them some time ago and has been incorporated on 1 March 2007. The owner of the company...

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  • Stroll on the Waterfall Walkway (Springs...

    This nice waterfall walk is a good opportunity to stretch your legs on your trip from Christchurch to the Westcoast or vice-versa. The waterfall obviously has no name, otherwise they would give the walk another name than just Waterfall Walk. This is noted on the sign-post between Lewis Pass and Springs Junction, 8kms from Springs Junction.The...

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  • Maruia Falls (south-west of Murchison on...

    As those waterfalls are rather different to most others and there are no real nice rest areas along SH65 between Springs Junction and Murchison, they are worth well a stop - either for a picnic or just the falls or both.The water of the Maruia River falls over a wide rock ridge and look like mini - and I really mean MINI - Niagara Falls. Not very...

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  • Hokitika Gorge - a remote turquoise blue...

    The Hokitika Gorge got into the focus of my interest when I read that an Austrian immigrant, a wealthy writer and businessman, planned to build a treetop walk right there, in the middle of nowhere, and that a group named "Friends of the Gorge" passionately fought against this project.Since I have been there I am totally on their side. I have...

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  • Have a break at Lake Mahinapua (near...

    You can reach nice Lake Mahinapua directly from SH6, about 13kms south of Hokitika. There are nice views and a nice picnic area. I can only repeat it again and again: Have insect repellent handy if you want to relax there, so you can react quickly when the sandflies start their attacks and enjoy your time. Protected like this I once was even able...

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  • Hokitika, the synonym for greenstone...

    Hokitika is not very exciting but it is unique, with its landmark central clock tower in the middle of the main street, several beautifully restored buildings from the era of the goldrush, and a very nice and rough grey beach, covered in smooth pebbles and driftwood. If you have a closer look and especially more time than just some hours you will...

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  • White Herons, Sandflies and Shotguns at...

    The Okarito Lagoon is famous for having New Zealand's only White Heron (Kotuku) nesting colony. They nest on the banks of the Waitangi Roto Stream, and also the Royal Spoonbill and the Little Black Shag love this area. As those birds do not feed youngs year-round a visit to the colony only makes real sense from late October until early March. As...

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  • Mirror Views and Birds at Lake Matheson

    It is picture postcard perfect, it is in most New Zealand calendars and books: the reflection of Mt. Cook and Mt. Tasman in the waters of Lake Matheson. To get this photo can be rather tricky because the West Coast has more than 5 metres annual rainfall, and at some point it has to pour down, and this is not the best condition to get the famous...

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  • Gold Panning @ Ross Information &...

    Visit the gold mining town of Ross, once one of the deepest mining operations in the Southern Hemisphere. Of course, there are other town for more gold panning oportunities, eg Shantytown (11km south of Greymouth).Try you luck here... and you'll get to keep the gold and greenstone in a little souvenir bottle and of course you'll need to pay a small...

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  • Hokitika

    Hokitika is the home of Pounamu (NZ jade). There are several several arts & craft retails around town...Here, we visited Jade Factory Hokitika - NZ’s largest range of quality and affordable Pounamu/Jade carvings and sculptures on display in spacious modern retail shop. In an adjacent carving studio, you can watch and interact with the skilled team...

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West Coast Hotels

  • Te Waonui Forest Retreat

    State Highwy 6, Franz Josef, New Zealand

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 4 out of 5 stars

  • The Westhaven

    The staff was very friendly and helpful! The rooms were big, comfortable, and clean with a good...

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  • Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki

    State Highway 6, 30 km north of Haast, Lake Moeraki, South Island, 7842, New Zealand

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 4 out of 5 stars

  • Gables Motor Lodge

    Greymouth, New Zealand

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

  • Punakaiki Rocks Resort

    State Highway 6, PO Box 27, Punakaiki, South Island, New Zealand

    Satisfaction: Very Good

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 4 out of 5 stars

  • Buller Bridge Motel Westport

    I've stayed here a couple of times and both times it has been an easy job booking and getting myself...

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  • Aspiring Court Motel Haast

    Marks Road, Haast, South Westland, New Zealand

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Families

  • 58 On Cron Motel

    58 Cron Street, Franz Josef, 7952, New Zealand

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 4 out of 5 stars

  • Te Weheka Inn Fox Glacier

    Main Road (State Highway 6), PO Box 90, Fox Glacier, South Island, New Zealand

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 4 out of 5 stars

Top West Coast Hotels

Greymouth Hotels
37 Reviews - 86 Photos
Franz Josef Glacier Hotels
129 Reviews - 407 Photos
Hokitika Hotels
76 Reviews - 199 Photos
Punakaiki Hotels
24 Reviews - 91 Photos
Haast Hotels
26 Reviews - 70 Photos
Fox Glacier Hotels
83 Reviews - 368 Photos
Westport Hotels
30 Reviews - 50 Photos

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West Coast Things to Do

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