Places To Visit On The West Coast

From the highest mountains and stunning coastal scenery to abundant rainforests and absolutely everything in between - on the West Coast you're just spoilt for choice. Only 70km at its widest point but 600km long, it takes a while to truly experience the West Coast but the journey is definitely the best bit.

To get your head around everything the West Coast has to offer, we have broken it down into 8 geographic zones. Take your time and read what each zone has to offer. Whatever your travel time frame, you are bound to love your visit.

Warm lush semi tropical microclimate and unique natural attractions. Includes Karamea, Little Wanganui, Mokihinui, Seddonville, Hector, Ngakawau, Granity, Waimangaroa, Denniston, Westport, Cape Foulwind, Tauranga Bay, Buller Gorge

A place that takes you back in time and was the first town to have light in the Southern Hemisphere. Includes Inangahua, Reefton, Blacks Point, Maruia & Springs Junction, Maruia Springs, Lewis Pass, Waiuta

One of the Top 10 Scenic Drives in the World, according to Lonely Planet. Includes Charleston, Fox River, Punakaiki, Barrytown, Rapahoe, Runanga

The largest town and the heart of the West Coast. Other towns including Blackball, Nelson Creek, Stillwater, Greymouth

Where the trout come to die of old age. Includes the areas of Lake Brunner and Moana, Jacksons, Otira, Arthurs Pass

The birthplace of New Zealand pounamu/jade, and the home of West Coast's newest attraction - the West Coast Treetop Walk. Includes Kumara, Hokitika, Ross, Pukekura, Harihari

Two of the world's most accessible glaciers with the unique aspect of descending into rainforest. Includes Whataroa, Okarito, Lake Mapourika, Franz Josef Glacier, Fox Glacier, Lake Matheson, Gillespies Beach

On the edge of the wilderness and where the whitebait like to hide!. Includes Bruce Bay, Lake Paringa, Lake Moeraki, Haast, Jacksons Bay, Haast Pass to Makarora



 West Coast Beach on The Great Coast Road

Okarito Kayak Trail


Explore the secrets of Ōkārito Lagoon.  The Ōkārito Lagoon is a wild, wet haven for nature. Paddling its main channel and the rivers that feed into it can reveal many surprises: shy birds hide in the rushes, rare, white waders fish in its waters, our tallest trees tower above, and our highest mountains reveal themselves - occasionally - creating a stunning snowy backdrop. The views change depending on the weather, but whatever the mood, there is a charming quality about this lagoon.