ADVENTURE - Looking for thrilling,exciting action? Look no further. The West Coast offers heart racing adrenalin pumping fun for all ages. See the wealth of breathtaking activities the West Coast offers
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. Explore the mesmerising glacial encounters of the Coast.
HISTORY & HERITAGE -Come visit and be amazed at how our rich history of pioneering, gold, pounamu and coal have shaped the West Coast. Immerse yourself in our coastal culture, and be spirited back in time to the days of the Wild West. Learn more
THE GREAT COAST ROAD - Unsurpassed views await those that embark on the fabulous Coast Road drive, with spectacular mountain vistas, panoramic ocean seascapes and lush rainforest. Read about the gems along the Great Coast Road.
Having said that, the West Coast of the Southern Alps is a truly unique destination...
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 across sub tropical rainforest in the north to glaciers and majestic landscapes in the south the West Coast offers something for everyone. Only 70km at its widest point there are beach and forest walks to suit all 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.
The West Coast is so awe inspiring UNESCO named it a world heritage area.
Need we say more? You need to spend a while to truly discover the West Coast.
From Westport and Karamea in the far north ....Reefton and the Great Coast Road as you head down the Coast.....Greymouth, Lakes District and Jade Country mid way down your epic encounter....and the 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.
You can craft the experience you want, from wild adventures to indulgent relaxation.
Best of all enjoy the people you meet along the way – for true Kiwi hospitality you can’t go past
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 torrential downpour, a 'light shower'.
Verb; to 'Coast' - means to take it easy...
It takes a while to do travel the West Coast- but take your time - the journey is the best bit.
Bruce Bay, part of the Gates of Haast region, made it to the Top 10 in the NZ’s Most Loved Beach competition, which saw Kiwis vote for their favourite beach. The competition drew 600,000 votes across a list of about 200 popular beaches, which included some favourites submitted by participants as part of a social media campaign by the AA.
The West Coast of the Southern Alps has been awarded TWO out of the five green flags bestowed to New Zealand in the recent international awards. It is recognised as a mark of Tourism Excellence identifying the award winning places as Top Destinations. LAKE MATHESON at Fox Glacier and SHIP CREEK WALKWAY in Haast are both well deserved of this accolade.
Picture a place of long empty beaches, river estuaries,native birds, beautiful sunsets, walks through warm rainforests and incredible granite and limestone formations. Westport is the largest town in this area. While keeping its small town feel the still thriving miningindustry means Westport offers excellent restaurants, cafes and amenities.
It is only a short drive from here to excellent mountain biking, walks and one of the most accessible seal colonies in the country atTauranga Bay/Cape Foulwind.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ACTIVITY:
Take a journey inward to a place all but forgotten.......
Take a train ride along the old coal transport road high above the dramatic Waimangaroa Gorge and 170 metres into the first of the historic 1880's Denniston coal mines.
You can still visit the remnants of this piece of great Kiwi inventiveness. Back in the dayt, while mining the most rugged terrain imaginable, Coasters developed an engineering project on the Denniston Incline that was dubbed the "8th wonder of the world." As you walk around the lonely landscape on the Denniston Plateau you can almost hear the clang of the old coal bins. This is the place if you want to find out if you have what it takes to be a miner.
The Denniston Mining Experience takes you underground where you are allocated a job and put to work – the state-of-the-art audio and visual effects really do simulate the harsh life of a Denniston miner.
Here you will perform your allocated miners job; putting up pit props, shovelling coal....Plunge deep......into the darkness of one of New Zealand's oldest sources of energy and industrial innovation.
A truly unique and interactive mine experience .
READ WHY THE WEST COAST WAS VOTED # 8 BY LONELY PLANET
CHECK OUT THIS GREAT LITTLE VIDEO FEATURING SOME OF THE AWESOME HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEST COAST OF THE SOUTHERN ALPS
Take A Break - West Coast of the Southern Alps
EASY CYCLING ON THE WILD SIDE
This fabulous cycling adventure guarantees an outstanding landscape ride through dense rainforest, past glacial rivers and lakes and through wetlands, all the way from the snow-capped mountains of the Southern Alps to the ocean.
The cycle trail can be ridden either in part as a day ride or in its entirety over 4 days. It is graded EASY.
For official information go to Westcoast Wilderness Trail
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.
An exciting and modern museum with both audio/visual and photographic displays complementing the history of the industrial development of the Buller region.
The displays include coalmining in which we have a true-to-life coal mine, one of the 20 ton brake drums used to control the Q wagons used on the Denniston incline, along with one of the Q wagons suspended at the amazing 45 degree angle in which the incline operated at. A movie on coal mining through out the region over the years, which is second to none.
Other displays include:
Saw milling, Transport, Maritime, Mineral, Brewery,