The West Coast, or 'the Coast' as locals call it, is a wild place of rivers and rainforests, glaciers and geological treasures. One of the more remote and most sparsely populated areas of the country. The West Coast of New Zealand is an untamed natural wilderness, with scenery so stunning it takes your breath away and sunsets so impressive even Instagram told it to tone it down.
It takes a while to get around the largest region in New Zealand but the journey is the best bit from the highest of mountains and stunning coastal scenery to copious rainforests and absolutely everything in between – you’re just spoilt for choice all of the way. Along your journey, you will meet Coasters (real kiwi locals) who will provide you with true Kiwi hospitality. Discover an abundance of nature so astounding, it’ll leave an impression for years to come.
There is a lot to see in the region, Oparara Arches, Pancake Rocks and Blow Holes, Lake Brunner, Hokitika Gorge, Franz Josef and Fox Glacier, Haast World Heritage Area. The pancake rocks and blowholes at Punakaiki are among the West Coast’s most famous sights and a definite 'must-see' in this region. Only 45 minutes' drive from Punakaiki is the Denniston Experience, where you'll journey by train deep into a historic coal mine for a fascinating insight into West Coast mining history. The Great Coast Road stretching from Westport to Greymouth was recently voted one of the top 10 coastal drives in the world by Lonely Planet. Take in the views from the new Westcoast Treetop Walk among ancient Rimu, marvel at the limestone cliffs of Paparoa National Park and the vivid turquoise water in the Hokitika Gorge. The West Coast is New Zealand’s only source of greenstone (pounamu) with the boulders found in the West Coast rivers. In Hokitika and Greymouth you can take a tour and watch the greenstone carvers at work.