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

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

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 Boat Tours offer small, personalized tours exploring the magnificent, untouched serenity of
New Zealand's largest unmodified wetland environment and part of the the South Westland Unesco
World Heritage Area. The Early Bird Tour - with the early morning light come the feeding wading
birds - great white herons, spoonbills, intrepid godwits from Alaska and more on the open waters of
the lagoon and calm waterways

Beyond our tours....At Okarito Boat Tours we take pride and ownership in helping maintain the
integrity of our wetlands - all our tours are in areas of rowi (Okarito Kiwi) as well as other
endangered species including bitterns, fernbirds and the NZ falcon and we work together with
Department of Conservation to help with local projects including bat monitoring, kiwi release,
native plants nursery and more.