GLACIERS - Experience the twin glaciers, Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier . Unique & majestic - Rivers of ice plunging down through rainforest to almost sea level - true wonders of nature. Experience the unforgettable with a glacial encounter....
Greymouth is a town with a long history - a history of Gold, Coal, Jade and Beer.... to name but a few iconic themes of this vibrant West Coast metropolis. Greymouth is the largest town on the West Coast and as the hub of the coast it is a great place to start...or end your West Coast adventure. Check out the local Monteiths Brewery for a tasting tour of great beer or head out to Shantytown where you can fossick for gold and immerse yourself in the history of the West Coast of the South Island. Don't stop there however.... we have adventure for the faint and not so faint hearted too - the Wild West Adventure Company has stuff to do you have never even thought of, let alone attempted before.... and On Yer Bike can see you right for an unforgettable experience getting close up and dirty with 4WD's, Quads and Haglunds. You will be spoilt for choice with a fabulous range of accommodation ranging from Coastal B & B's, qualmark rated Hotels and Motels, Holiday Parks and Flash/Backpackers - top that off with a great selection of eateries and local bars and you can be assured your expedition to the 'Heart of the West Coast' will leave you wanting more...
Welcome to the place where you will see New Zealand just how it was created eons ago. With spectacular West Coast scenery and real Kiwi characters you will experience the kind of holiday that will leave you wanting more.
Take a few moments to enjoy the many highlights and spectacular scenery of the West Coast of the Southern Alps right now!
Stretching 600km from sub tropical rainforest in the north to glaciers and majestic landscapes in the south so awe inspiring UNESCO named it a world heritage area; the West Coast offers something for everyone. Only 70km at its widest point there are beach and forest walks to suit all ages and abilities, eco tourism experiences, caving, rafting, canoeing and kayaking, surfing, jet boating, jet skiing, glacier walks, scenic flights, mountain biking, horse treks, river and sea fishing, gold panning and exploring the old gold and coal mines and ghost towns. Need we say more? You need to spend a while to truly discover the West Coast.
From Westport and Karamea in the far north, to Reefton and the Great Coast Road as you head down the Coast, to Greymouth, Lakes District and Jade Country mid way down your epic encounter to Glacier Country and Haast in the far south - there are just so many areas to visit.
Discover Nikau palms and semi tropical fruit trees in the north to ice, snow and temperate rainforests in the south. In between are wild coastlines, deserted beaches, dense forests of giant trees, ferns and mosses, big rivers and little creeks, lakes to boat on and walk around, glaciers to explore and the lofty snow covered mountains that form the Southern Alps.
The West Coast is the birthplace of pounamu – the precious New Zealand greenstone or jade can be found throughout the region at galleries and shops where you can watch the carvers at work. The region is also famous for its world-class artists and craftspeople.
Best of all enjoy the people you meet along the way – for true Kiwi hospitality you can’t go past a "Coaster". (Noun; A "Coast-ter" - to wit; a 'hard case', takes 'no bull', says it like it is. Dress sense errs towards the casual, if not outright rustic. Quite parochial about origins. Also fiesty about origins of the beer they drink. Prefers Monteiths. Fond of whitebait. Tends to call any rainfall, other than torrental downpour, a 'light shower'. Verb; to 'Coast' - means to take it easy...).
The pristine rainforest, predominantly Kahikatea, stands tall, and shows off it's untouched beauty. During the summer months, the majestic Kotuku (White Heron) can be viewed, in all it's pluming glory as it nests in the swamp forests on the banks of the Waitangi Roto Stream. The Kotuku Ngutu Papa (Royal Spoonbill) and the Kawapaka (Little Shag) also take advantage of this prime spot to rear their young. During the crystal clear days of the winter months, the rainforest, alive with an array of bird life, is a photographers paradise as the snow capped peaks of mounts Cook and Tasman can easily be viewed. All weather activity.
THE WEST COAST OF NEW ZEALAND HAS BEEN RANKED ONE OF THE TOP TEN PLACES TO VISIT IN THE WORLD BY LEADING TRAVEL GUIDE LONELY PLANET
READ WHY THE WEST COAST WAS VOTED # 8 BY LONELY PLANET
EASY CYCLING ON THE WILD SIDE
The cycle trail can be ridden either in part as a day ride or in its entirety over 4 days. It is graded EASY.
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New Zealand author 28 year old Eleanor Catton has won the prestigious Man Booker Prize 2013 with her second novel The Luminaries, a murder mystery set in 19th Century Hokitika.
She is the youngest author to ever win the award, literature's most sought after prize. The win is expected to catapault Catton (and Hokitika) into the limelight.
Set in 1866 gold-rush Hokitika, the novel's structure and narrative is propelled by 12 men aligned to 12 signs of the zodiac. At 832 pages, it is the longest book ever to win. The Man Booker judges described the novel as "a New Zealand Twin Peaks".
She is the third New Zealander to be shortlisted for the Booker, after Keri Hulme, who won in 1985, for The Bone People and Lloyd Jones, who was shortlisted for Mr Pip in 2007.