Kahurangi National Park
The Heaphy Track, one of New Zealand's Great Walks traverses this park as a 4-6 day hike or for the experienced a 2-3 day mountain bike ride (seasonal)
Paparoa National Park
The park is best known for the bizarre Pancake Rocks and impressive blowholes of Dolomite Point near Punakaiki. The blowholes put on their best performance at high tide so check at the local iSite for times. For the adventurous (and experienced) there are amazing caving opportunities and for families you can do an easy canoe up the Pororari River.
Arthur's Pass National Park
The West Coast borders Arthur's Pass National Park at the main divide and there is a striking difference between the landscapes on either side. The drier eastern side is predominately Mountain Beech while to the west thick rainforest dominates. This park has a large amount of family friendly short walks off the road and our cheeky kea birds are common here so get your cameras out, just make sure they don't steal it! The world famous TranzAlpine train stops here too.
Westland Tai Poutini National Park
Westland Tai Poutini National Park extends from the highest peaks of the Southern Alps to the Tasman Sea and is split by the Alpine Fault. It is a place of dramatic contrasts with snow-capped mountains, steep forested slopes, glaciers and impassible gorges to the east of the fault and forested lowlands, lakes, wetlands and wide river mouths to the west.
The area is best known for the Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers where you can walk up the river valleys to see the terminal faces or take a guided trip onto the ice. Westland National Park is the backbone of Glacier Country and is part of the South West New Zealand UNESCO World Heritage Area.
Mount Aspiring National Park
At the southern end of the West Coast, Mount Aspiring National Park is a mecca for walkers, mountaineers and those who just like dramatic and wild scenery. Haast is a great gateway to viewing the northern edge of the park with guided tours, helicopter flights, jet boat rides and river safaris on offer. Mount Aspiring National Park is part of the South West New Zealand UNESCO World Heritage Area.
Kiwi SanctuariesWest Coast Wildlife Centre in Franz Josef.
Te Wahipounamu -
South West New Zealand UNESCO World Heritage Site
Westland Tai Poutini, Mount Aspiring along with Mount Cook and Fiordland National Parks make up the internationally recognised South West New Zealand UNESCO World Heritage Area and is a significant national treasure. Spectacular landscapes; ancient forests, rocks and animals from Godwanaland times (that's 80 million years!); and rare plants and animals including the endangered rowi and Haast tokoeka kiwi and the flightless takahe all make their home here.
More Information on West Coast National Parks
For more information on the West Coast National Parks please visit:
Department of Conservation information pages
- Kahurangi National Park
- Paparoa National Park
- Arthur's Pass National Park
- Westland Tai Poutini National Park
- Mount Aspiring National Park
- Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Site