Haast UNESCO World Heritage Site Haast UNESCO World Heritage Site


World Heritage Area

A region so spectacular UNESCO named it a "World Heritage" area.


On the edge of the wilderness

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

From Haast to Jackson Bay there are spectacular beaches, dunes, lakes and wetlands, all with the soaring backdrop of the Southern Alps making it an outdoor enthusiast's playground.

People come here not only for the scenery but also for:

  • Hunting.
  • Tramping.
  • The wildlife (native birds, fur seals, Hectors Dolphins and Fiordland Crested Penguins).
  • The short and long walks in the area.
  • Unique Jet Boat tours.
  • Breathtaking helicopter flights.

This is real whitebait country and fishing is outstanding from Jackson Bay.

The region of Haast includes:

  • Bruce Bay,
  • Lake Paringa,
  • Lake Moeraki,
  • Haast,
  • Jackson Bay,
  • Haast Pass to Makarora.

How to get to Haast

Weather in Haast

Attractions between Fox Glacier and Haast

The drive between Fox Glacier and Haast is beautiful and passes many points of interest.

Copland Track

South of Fox Glacier you will find the start of the Copland Track - a 17 km, 7 hour tramp that gradually climbs past waterfalls, mountains and fantastic views to reach Welcome Flat.

With its large hut and natural hot springs it's an awesome place to relax and enjoy the view.

Bruce Bay

At Bruce Bay the road hits the coast. Stop and enjoy the view and the crashing surf of the Tasman Sea and admire the many rock sculptures visitors have built.

Nearby the Monro Beach Walk is your best bet to see the world’s rarest penguin, the Fiordland Crested Penguin.

The penguins are best seen between August to November either late afternoon or early morning. Please don’t take dogs with you – they are a major threat to penguins.

Knights Point Lookout and Ships Creek

Knights Point Lookout has views of the coast north and south and is a favourite stop for travelers. Ships Creek has an excellent viewing tower for seabird watching and you can choose from two trails.

The Kahikatea Forest Walk (30mins) takes you via a boardwalk into kahikatea swamp forest with great bird watching while the Dune Walk (30 mins) goes along the beach and then inland to a small dune lake.

Haast to Paringa cattle track

The historic Haast to Paringa cattle track was built in 1875 by farmers at Haast. Stock were driven from the Landsborough and Cascade valleys to sale yards at Whataroa, a two-week journey at best. It’s now a three-day tramp.

Haast waterfalls

The Haast Highway between Haast and Haast Pass winds past bluffs and river flats.

It is worth doing the very short walk to the Thunder Creek Falls near Pleasant Flat - a 28m high waterfall adjacent to the Haast Highway.

Other good walks include Fantail Falls and Roaring Billy Falls.

Gates of Haast

Another must do photo stop is the Gates of Haast.

The sheer gorge with its huge boulders was the most challenging sector of the Haast Highway.

Just please don't stop on the bridge, there is a layaway you can use.

Haast Pass

Haast Pass is 563m above sea-level and is the lowest crossing point over the Southern Alps.

It follows an ancient trail used by Maori travelling to the West Coast in search of pounamu or greenstone.

One of the best short walks near the pass is the Blue Pools Walk. It is an easy walk to a series of crystal clear pools that have been carved out of the rocks by centuries of erosion.

See, do & stay

Eat & Drink
Salmon Farm The Salmon Farm Cafe

Salmon Farm licensed café specializing in fresh and smoked salmon products.

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Eat & Drink
Haast Beach General Store Haast Beach General Store

Visit Haast's original General Store, run as a family business for nearly 50 years, located just across from the beach.

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See & Do
Greenstone Helicopters Greenstone Helicopters

South Westland's wild and undisturbed landscape is deemed to have natural and cultural features of such world significance, it is now protected in the 2.6 million hectare, South Westland World Heritage Area.

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Heartland World Heritage.jpg Heartland Hotel Haast

Heartland Hotel Haast is ideally located halfway between the Glaciers and Wanaka.

$179 - $249
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Eat & Drink
Hard Antler Bar & Restaurant - Haast Hard Antler Bar & Restaurant

An iconic West Coast bar and dining, serving lunch and dinner from 11am till 9pm.

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See & Do
Haast UNESCO World Heritage Site Haast Walks

The best way to experience the West Coasts untamed natural wilderness is to simply get out there among it.

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