Beaches, lakes & coastline
Bruce Bay - or Mahitahi - is a small coastal settlement with stunning sea vistas and a wonderfully wild windswept beach, 40km south of Fox Glacier and 80 km from Haast.
It is where rimu rainforest meets the sea, a great place to take a walk along the beach. This is the absolute untamed, natural wilderness
Located 30 minutes south of Fox Glacier on the banks of the Mahitahi River, Bruce Bay boasts a permanent population of 6 residents. If you include the residents of nearby Lake Paringa, you’re looking at a bustling district of 33 people.
The solitude and rawness of this stunning area are what make it so worth a visit. Sitting bravely between dense rimu forest and the wild sea, Bruce Bay and Lake Paringa offer an impressive example of the West Coast at its very best.
Bruce Bay / Mahitahi is a place of special significance to Makaawhio, the local Maori iwi. The beach was once used as a highway for Maori inhabitants travelling around the area and today is the location of the Te Taauaka Waka a Maui marae. Translating as the landing place of Maui’s waka, Te Taauka Waka a Maui marae is on the site where Maui first landed in New Zealand. Flanked by glacial moraine and stunning forests, it’s not hard to see why the area still holds great importance.