West coast

Five reasons why Haast should be on your bucket list

If you are looking for the real Middle Earth, look no further, it can be found in Haast, an area definitely worth sticking around to explore. While Haast is mostly considered the gateway between Wanaka and the West Coast of New Zealand, it is so much more than that!

Nov. 7, 2018

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1. Haast is an UNESCO World Heritage Area

The Haast region is a lost world that is so spectacular and remote UNESCO awarded it the status of being a "World Heritage" area.

Winding through Haast Pass alongside the river by car and stopping to discover Fantail Falls, Thunder Creek Falls and The Roaring Billies make this an unforgettable road tripping area.

2. The scenic flights are out of this world

You haven't done a scenic flight until you've done a scenic helicopter flight in Haast. Even bloggers Exploring Kiwis, who have traveled to over 40 countries, said that the most scenic helicopter flight they've ever done was in Haast!

You'll be dwarfed by the mountains on either side of you as you sweep up through the valley and up over the peaks. This experience is worth every single penny.

3. The seafood

Haast is known as Whitebait Country, and with locals like the Curly Tree Whitebait Company (for your Whitebait patty, they lightly toast your bread too, heaven) and The Craypot (for some seriously delicious crayfish), you know you're on to a good thing!

4. Jet boating

Exploring the World Heritage Area by air isn't enough, jetting along its riverbeds in a boat is a whole other experience in itself!

The water is a stunning blue all year round and the thrill of speeding alongside giant mountains is not to be missed.

If you're travelling in a group, the Haast River Safari are perfect for you, they run along the Haast River through the pass.

If you're just a couple or a few mates travelling through Haast, the Waiatoto River Safari will take you through back country waterways, where you'll see land barely touched by man.

5. The wildlife

The rare Toekoeka Kiwi hails from Haast, while they're hard to see, you may just hear them at night!

The area is also home to the Fiordland Crested Penguin.

While you're sitting enjoying your kai (food) at The Craypot, you may just spot the dolphins that frequent Jackson's Bay.

You can also get up close and personal with nature with all the short Haast Walks.