West Coast

west coast region new zealand

New Zealand's West Coast is a wild and rugged place, the area is popular for outdoor enthusiasts and thrill seekers with many attractions and activities available in the region year round.

The most popular attractions in the region are the Fox Glacier and the Franz Josef Glacier both located a short distance apart along the southern West Coast, both glaciers are almost at sea level providing easy access to the ice front.

There are many walks available in the region both alpine walks and forest walks, one popular walk is the Paparoa Track which provides a stunning journey through limestone landscapes rain forests and alpine areas, the walk is around 56km and will take three or four days to complete.

One other prominent walk that stands out is the Franz Josef Walk starting with a short walk through the forest and out onto the river bed below the Franz Josef Glacier, with the walk finishing at a look out with stunning views up the valley to the glacier.

Hokitika is one of several small towns in the region with a rich Gold mining history the settlement was formed in 1860 when gold was discovered in the area, a walk through the streets is like stepping back in time with old building to view, Hokitika is also the place of the Hokitika Wild Food Festival which is held in the region each year.

The Westland National Park which is home to the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers provides many activities, you can kayak on Lake Matheson with stunning mountain peaks as a back drop, take a scenic flight over the national park or visit Haast a wild west coast beach with a stunning coastline.

Further up the coast is another small settlement of Westport that provides many outdoor activities and attractions, there is a local seal colony at Cape Foulwind to view, jet boating and rafting up the river, the area also has a history in coal mining with many relics from the past to explore.

Lake Brunner on the West Coast is a popular place for outdoor activities there is a camp ground located here, with trout fishing available most of the year and kayaks can be hired to explore the large lake. 

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