Franz Josef






Regions To Visit On The West Coast

From the highest mountains and stunning coastal scenery to abundant rainforests and absolutely everything in between - on the West Coast you're just spoilt for choice. Only 70km at its widest point but 600km long, it takes a while to truly experience the West Coast but the journey is definitely the best bit.

To get your head around everything the West Coast has to offer, we have broken it down into 8 geographic regions. Take your time and read what each zone has to offer. Whatever your travel time frame, you are bound to love your visit.

Westport Karamea Buller

Westport Karamea

Warm lush semi tropical microclimate and unique natural attractions.

Includes :Karamea, Little Wanganui, Mokihinui, Seddonville, Hector, Ngakawau, Granity, Waimangaroa, Denniston, Westport, Cape Foulwind, Tauranga Bay, Buller Gorge

Reefton Gold

Reefton Gold - mauria springs

A place that takes you back in time and was the first town to have light in the Southern Hemisphere.

Includes: Inangahua, Reefton, Blacks Point, Maruia & Springs Junction, Maruia Springs, Lewis Pass, Waiuta.

Great Coast Road

Great Coast Road - highway shot

One of the Top 10 Scenic Drives in the World, according to Lonely Planet.

Includes: Charleston, Fox River, Punakaiki, Barrytown, Rapahoe, Runanga

Mawhera Grey District - Heart of the West Coast

Contains the largest town in the heart of the West Coast known for it's off-road 4x4, cave & Glow-worm tours, Haglund rides, surfing, rafting & more

Includes: Blackball, Nelson Creek, Stillwater, Greymouth town

Lakes District

Lakes District - sailing

Where the trout come to die of old age.

Includes: Lake Brunner and Moana, Jacksons, Otira, Arthurs Pass


Jade Country 

Jade Country

The birthplace of New Zealand pounamu/jade, and the home of West Coast's newest attraction - the West Coast Treetop Walk.

Includes: Kumara, Hokitika, Ross, Pukekura, Harihari

Glacier Country

L43 - Franz Josef Glacier.jpg

Two of the world's most accessible glaciers with the unique aspect of descending into rainforest.

Includes: Whataroa, Okarito, Lake Mapourika, Franz Josef Glacier, Fox Glacier, Lake Matheson, Gillespies Beach

Gates of Haast 

O7 - Haast.jpg

On the edge of the wilderness and where the whitebait like to hide!

Includes: Bruce Bay, Lake Paringa, Lake Moeraki, Haast, Jacksons Bay, Haast Pass to Makarora

 West Coast Beach on The Great Coast Road

Okarito Kayak Trail


Explore the secrets of Ōkārito Lagoon.  The Ōkārito Lagoon is a wild, wet haven for nature. Paddling its main channel and the rivers that feed into it can reveal many surprises: shy birds hide in the rushes, rare, white waders fish in its waters, our tallest trees tower above, and our highest mountains reveal themselves - occasionally - creating a stunning snowy backdrop. The views change depending on the weather, but whatever the mood, there is a charming quality about this lagoon.