Franz Josef






Four Reasons to Love the West Coast


Mawhera - Heart of the West Coast - Containing the largest town in the heart of the West Coast with most visitor services.  Many "See & Do" activities PLUS heaps of adventures with local operators. Read about Greymouth


Franz Josef - on the glacier

GLACIERS - Experience the twin glaciers, Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier. Unique & majestic rivers of ice plunging down through rainforest to almost sea level- true wonders of nature. Explore the mesmerising glacial encounters of the Coast.

Hokitika Jade Factory

HOKITIKA The famous "cool little town" of Hokitika hosts a multitude of great shops, galleries and cafes all situated beside a gorgeous beach. The town offers a range of great walks is an entry to the popular West Coast Wilderness Trail. Learn about Hokitika.


Coast Road

THE GREAT COAST ROAD TO WESTPORT - Unsurpassed views await those that embark on the fabulous Coast Road drive, with spectacular mountain vistas, panoramic ocean seascapes and lush rainforest. Read about the gems along the Great Coast Road.


The pace of life here is so relaxing, you might just pack away your cellphone (unless it has a camera function). If you want to know what's what and find answers to those nitty gritty questions, this is the page for you. Here you can get information and assistance with your holiday on the West Coast.

You can see what people are saying in our blog, find information about the Department of Conservation and responsible camping, see what essential services are avilable on the West Coast, learn about our weather and climate, find a West Coast i-SITE information centre and more. Start planning your West Coast holiday today by browsing our visitor information links below.

 By Kerry-Jayne Wilson

by Kerry-Jayne Wilson

This book presents an introduction to the West Coast’s physical environment, plants and animals, and a guide to the walks, lakes and highways of the region. Short easy paths are described in detail, along with the plants, animals and natural features to look for along the way. Longer, more demanding trails are less described. The lakes and lagoons are best explored by kayak, and guidance is given for the paddling naturalist. Remote and wild it may seem, yet most of its natural attractions are accessible from sealed roads and well-formed paths, some even wheelchair accessible.

About the Author

Over the past 40 years Kerry-Jayne Wilson has made hundreds of visits to the West Coast, and now lives near Charleston beside the Tasman Sea and beneath the Paparoa Mountains. In 2009 she retired after 23 years lecturing in ecology and conservation at Lincoln University. She has undertaken research on West Coast penguins, shearwaters, petrels, fur seals and kea. She has written about 70 scientific publications including two books, the last one being the award-winning Flight of the Huia (CUP, 2004).

You can purchase this book direct from the publisher here