ADVENTURE - Looking for thrilling, exciting action? Look no further. The West Coast offers heart racing adrenalin pumping fun for all ages. A wealth of breathtaking activities ensures your trip to the West Coast is truly memorable.
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....
HISTORY & HERITAGE - Come visit us and you will 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.
You can still visit the remnants of this piece of great Kiwi inventiveness. 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 to see 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. Talking of being underground – the limestone arches and caves of Oparara near Karamea are like another world. The most northern part of the West Coast is one of those hidden gems. 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. While keeping its small town feel the still thriving mining
industry 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 at
Tauranga Bay/Cape Foulwind.
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!
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...).
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.
State-of-the-art audio and visual effects 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 .
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.
For official information go to
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,