World Heritage Park
Punakaiki Pancake Rocks
Artisans working with Pounamu, Gold and Silver
Mountain Parrots – The Kea
The West Coast, on New Zealand’s South Island, is the strip of land nestled between the magnificent Southern Alps and the Tasman Sea. The region is home to raging rivers, wild coastline, lush rainforests, snow-capped mountain peaks and only 31,000 people. It offers access to 5 of New Zealand’s 13 National Parks and the southern coast is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The rugged isolation and unspoiled beauty of this area is unsurpassed. It is known as the home of Pounamu, New Zealand’s greenstone and was the center of the 1860 gold rush. Experience beaches, rivers, lakes, mountains and glaciers all within a short distance from wherever you are.
The West Coast offers an abundance of activities.An exhilarating treetop adventure among the rainforest giants at Westcoast Treetop Walk or explore Okarito Nature Reserve by kayak. Visit Lake Mahinapua scenic reserve, walk through an old logging tramline. Fishing or white water rafting in local rivers, hiking through local rainforest or try panning for gold. The Tranz Alpine Express train offers scheduled daily trips from Christchurch to Greymouth. Collect a rental car and drive south along the stunning and wild West Coast. Not to be missed are Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. Take a scenic flight over Mt. Cook to the top of a glacier and hike down or perhaps a jet boat trip down the Dart River into the wilds of Mt Aspiring National Park. The West Coast is home to such annual events as The Wild Food Festival and The Coast to Coast triathlon.
Base yourself at charming Rimu Lodge nestled in the countryside near Hokitika