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Things To Do In West Coast

The West Coast on the South Island of New Zealand is renowned for its natural beauty, with sub-tropical rainforest, Glaciers and majestic landscapes. Visit the pancake rocks and blowholes at Punakaiki among the West Coast's most famous sights. Appreciate the vivid turquoise water in the Hokitika Gorge. Enjoy some of the best brown trout fishing ... Show More

Tourist Information About West Coast

Top Attractions

West Coast Treetop Walk & Tower Zipline

West Coast Treetop Wa...

Treetop Walkway Adventure If you find yourself wondering what there is to do in ......

Westland Wonderland 40 minute HELIMAX movie

Westland Wonderland 4...

Westland Wonderland is a 40 minute HELIMAX screen movie of South-West New Zealan ......

Waiatoto River Safari

Waiatoto River Safari

Embark on the only jet boat tour in New Zealand that takes you from the Ocean to ......

Shackleton Whiskey Endurance - 50-minute Glacier Flight

Shackleton Whiskey En...

About Savor a complimentary sampling of the renowned Shackleton Whiskey, inspir ......

Flight option 1 - Fox Glacier incl. snow landing (allow 20 minutes - departs Fox Glacier)

Activity LocationFox Glacier, West Coast

Explore the Fox Glacier to 6,000ft and land on the snow with exceptional views of New Zealand's Southern Alps (allow 20 ...

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NZ $330 Book Now

Ultimate Discovery - 45-minute Three-Glacier Flight

Activity LocationFranz Josef, West Coast

About If you're seeking to experience the real West Coast, we would love for you to join us on a helicopter flight to s ...

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NZ $575.00 Book Now

Off Road Adventure Tour

Activity LocationFranz Josef, West Coast

The name speaks for itself, experience the thrill of riding our unique 2-seater quad bikes or 3-seater buggies through ...

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NZ $205.00 Book Now

Pilot Choice - 35-minute Twin Glacier Flight

Activity LocationFranz Josef, West Coast

About If you're seeking to experience the real West Coast, we would love for you to join us on a helicopter flight to s ...

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NZ $425.00 Book Now

Franz Josef Wilderness Tours

Activity LocationFranz Josef, West Coast

Join us for a Kayak or Scenic Cruise on Lake Mapourika taking in the panoramic views of the Southern Alps, Glaciers, and ...

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NZ $149.00 Book Now

Glacier Explorer - 25minute Franz Josef Flight

Activity LocationFranz Josef, West Coast

This 25-minute flight includes Franz Josef Glacier Southern Alps Mt Ellie de Beaumount An included 10-minute snow ...

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NZ $325.00 Book Now

Best Abel Tasman Day tour

Activity LocationAbel Tasman

A small group personalized 6 hour daytrip, exploring the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park's coastline aboard a comfor ...

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NZ $355 Book Now

Fly Six Glacier Tour

Activity LocationHokitika, West Coast

Fly up the Whitcombe Valley into the Southern Alps to view Six different Glaciers directly inland of Hokitika. Visit ...

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NZ $500.00 Book Now

Flight option 1 - Franz Josef Glacier incl. snow landing (allow 20 minutes - departs Franz Josef)

Activity LocationFranz Josef, West Coast

Explore the Franz Josef Glacier to 6,000ft and land on the snow with exceptional views of New Zealand's Southern Alps (a ...

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From 

NZ $330 Book Now

Mt Cook Supreme - 60-minute Glacier Flight

Activity LocationFranz Josef, West Coast

About If you're seeking to experience the real West Coast, we would love for you to join us on a helicopter flight to s ...

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NZ $775.00 Book Now

Underworld Adventures

Activity LocationPunakaiki, West Coast

Join us on a magical journey of discovery in the awe-inspiring Ananui GlowWorm Caves with our award-winning Underworld R ...

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NZ $145.00 Book Now

Related Areas

Tourist Information About West Coast

The West Coast on the South Island of New Zealand is renowned for its natural beauty, with sub-tropical rainforest, Glaciers and majestic landscapes. Visit the pancake rocks and blowholes at Punakaiki among the West Coast's most famous sights. Appreciate the vivid turquoise water in the Hokitika Gorge. Enjoy some of the best brown trout fishing in NZ at Lake Brunner. The West Coast area is rich in Pounamu, also known as greenstone or New Zealand Jade. This is one of the most remote and sparsely populated areas of the country, with so many beautiful sights to see and activities to do.


Best Attractions and free things to do in the West Coast



Franz Josef Glacier

1. Franz Josef Glacier

The Franz Josef Glacier, a major tourist attraction in this area, is one of only three spots on the planet where a glacier drops into temperate rainforest. Another is Fox Glacier, the only other example being in Argentina. Westland Tai Poutini National Park contains the glaciers.

The glacier is easily accessible due to its elevation of 250 meters above sea level. The easy 45-minute Glacier Valley Trail up to the observation platform in front of Franz Josef Glacier's face draws visitors to the tiny settlement of Franz Josef (population 330).

 
Off Road Adventure Tour

2. Off Road Adventure Tour

Experience the thrill of riding the unique 2-seater quad bikes or 3-seater buggies over a range of terrain, including Jurassic-like rainforest, ancient glacial riverbeds, and grassland, as the name implies! We can either enjoy the sun and enjoy amazing views of the surrounding mountains and the famed Franz Josef Glacier, or you can get down and dirty in the mud and water, as we like to say.

 
Glow Worm Cave Tour

3. Glow Worm Cave Tour

Have a wonderful, gorgeous adventure within the Ananui Glow Worm Caves, full with historical legends and beauty. Discover the natural splendor of this Cave's Wonderland. The ancient tubes we journey through are part of one of New Zealand's greatest cave systems, full with stalagmites and stalagmites. It's a return stroll out of the Cave tunnels once you've visited the Main Entrance, where you'll see an amazing display of Glow Worms. The best part about this trip is that you get to see the formations twice! Return to the lovely Café in Charleston via our adorable small jungle trains for a hot cup of coffee and lunch with our amazing café staff.

 

4. Underworld Rafting

This award-winning Underworld Rafting excursion will take you on a spectacular journey of discovery through the Ananui GlowWorm Caves. In the historic upper levels of the huge Ananui GlowWorm Cave system, discover an untamed calcite paradise of stalactites and stalagmites. Then enjoy tubing on the pristine Waitakere / Nile River while floating among fantastic galaxies of GlowWorms. In the Underworld Adventure Center in Charleston, return on the Rainforest Train to a hot shower and their friendly Café'.

 
Experience Haast Package Deal

5. Experience Haast Package Deal

Discover the real New Zealand in Haast! Enjoy Haast with this amazing package that includes lodging, food, and local activities. This package will give you a taste of Haast Lane life! Meet some of the people, learn about the area, relax and unwind, all while exploring the area and marveling at the pristine untamed west coast nature.

 
The Hokitika Gorge

6. The Hokitika Gorge

Hokitika, a former gold mining town, is the principal tourism centre on the West Coast, embracing a wild and rugged stretch of coastline with clear views over the peaks of the Southern Alps to the east. It's a hub for pounamu (New Zealand greenstone) manufacture, with a slew of boutiques displaying a wide range of pounamu jewellery and carvings, as well as a slew of other local artisan shops.

Lake Kaniere, just outside of town, offers excellent swimming and boating options, while Hokitika Gorge, with its azure water and deep native forest, makes for excellent half-day walks.

 
Fox Glacier

7. Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier, like Franz Josef Glacier to the north, is one of the few sites on the planet where you can see a glacier without having to be a mountaineer. The glacier's terminal face, which is surrounded by temperate rainforest and drops to 300 metres above sea level, is bordered by temperate rainforest. Visitors can travel the one-hour Fox Glacier Valley Trail for views of the glacier terminal and, like at Franz Josef, take a guided climb onto the ice itself. Hike the harder Chalet Lookout Track for a panoramic view of the glacier from above.

 
Explore the Blue Pools

8. Explore the Blue Pools

Few places in New Zealand are as well-known as the West Coast's Blue Pools. The melting of the glaciers high in the Southern Alps sends ice-cold water cascading down the mountains and into the Makarora River. Then there are the river pools, which are ideal for a swim or taking photos of the beautiful blue water.

 
Lake Matheson

9. Lake Matheson

The reflection of high peaks on Lake Matheson's surface has made it a photographer's dream. Because of the lake's natural brown water hue, you can get an astoundingly vivid reflection of the snow-capped mountains of Aoraki (Mount Cook) and Mount Tasman in the lake's surface on a still day when the lake's surface is calm.

From State Highway 6, near the Fox Glacier town, it's only a short walk over a suspension bridge through stands of native rimu and kahikatea trees to the lake.

 
Punakaiki & the Pancake Rocks

10. Punakaiki & the Pancake Rocks

The famed Pancake Rocks are located near the little village of Punakaiki, at Dolomite Point. Over 30 million years, the erosive processes of water and wind formed these limestone structures, leaving behind odd layered rock towers that resemble stacks of pancakes. Various blowholes, where salt spray is whipped up, can be found among the rocks.

The Pancake Rocks are part of Paparoa National Park, and there are several more paths to explore in the area, in addition to the Pancake Rocks Walk (which takes around 20 minutes). The Truman Track down to the shore, in particular, is a delightful, gentle track through a lovely stretch of natural forest.

 


Top attractions in the West Coast



1. Underworld Rafting - Take a journey into the heart of New Zealand's rugged west coast and explore the underground wonderland of the glow worm cave on a thrilling rafting adventure.

2. Glow Worm Cave Tour - Embark on a guided tour of the magnificent glow worm cave and marvel at the thousands of twinkling lights created by these bioluminescent creatures.

3. Off-Road Adventure Tour - Get your adrenaline pumping with an off-road adventure on quad bikes, exploring the rugged and picturesque terrain of the West Coast.

4. Haast Jet Boating - Experience the thrill of high-speed jet boating as you speed down the Haast River and take in the breathtaking scenery of the West Coast's rugged wilderness.

5. Waiatoto River Safari - Explore the hidden gems of the West Coast's river systems on a guided safari adventure, taking in breathtaking scenery and spotting rare wildlife along the way.



Top fun activities on the West Coast



1. Off-Road Adventure Tour - Get ready for an adrenaline-pumping adventure as you explore the rugged and beautiful terrain of the West Coast on an off-road tour.

2. Haast Jet Boating - Experience the thrill of high-speed jet boating as you speed down the Haast River, surrounded by breathtaking scenery.

3. Underworld Rafting - Take a journey into the heart of New Zealand's rugged west coast and explore the underground wonderland of the glow worm cave on a thrilling rafting adventure.

4. Franz Josef Glacier Flight including Snow Landing - Soar over the stunning landscape of the West Coast and the Franz Josef Glacier, and experience the excitement of a snow landing on this unforgettable flight.

5. Franz Josef Wilderness Tour - Explore the stunning wilderness of the Franz Josef Glacier on a guided tour, taking in breathtaking scenery and encountering rare and unique wildlife along the way.



Best things to do with kids and childrens activities in the West Coast



1. Waiatoto River Safari - Take the kids on an adventure along the beautiful Waiatoto River, spotting rare wildlife and taking in breathtaking scenery along the way.

2. Underworld Rafting - Introduce your children to the wonders of the West Coast's rugged wilderness on an exciting rafting journey through the glow worm cave.

3. Glow Worm Cave Tour - Marvel at the thousands of twinkling lights created by the bioluminescent creatures in the glow worm cave on a guided tour suitable for the whole family.

4. Franz Josef Wilderness Tour - Take the kids on a journey through the stunning wilderness of the Franz Josef Glacier, encountering unique wildlife and breathtaking scenery along the way.

5. Franz Josef Glacier Flight including Snow Landing - Treat your family to an unforgettable experience with a flight over the Franz Josef Glacier, complete with a thrilling snow landing. This is an excellent way to experience the beauty of the West Coast's glaciers with kids.



Best things to do near the West Coast



Abel Tasman Experience: One of the most popular helicopter tours - and for very good reasons! From the convenient base at Nelson Airport, board one of our modern helicopters and be whisked away to a subtropical paradise, consistently rated as one of New Zealand's best beaches. You'll have time for a walk, a swim, or lunch at the lodge. The only problem is you won't want to leave!

Heli-Picnic: Enjoy a delicious gourmet picnic at a hidden alpine lake. Fly north from our base at Nelson Airport, over the Abel Tasman National Park. Admire the pristine waters and golden sand beaches. You will then head into the Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand's second largest national park, and land at a hidden alpine lake. Take a short walk to the nearby waterfall and relax in the total serenity.

Southern Blend Kayak and walk: This half-day guided kayak and afternoon unguided walk tour in Abel Tasman involves paddling between Marahau and Observation Beach. It then takes you through the safe, sheltered and scenic southern reaches of the Abel Tasman. Home to more than a dozen beautiful golden beaches, two islands, several sea caves, reefs and tidal lagoons, this area of Abel Tasman is a delight to sea kayak. After your kayak take an easy unguided walk through native fern gullies and bush clad headlands back to Marahau.

1 Day Freedom Kayak Rental: Freedom kayaking gives you the independence to see the wonders of the coastline at your own pace. Kahu Kayaks will equip you with everything you need to have an enjoyable and safe sea kayaking experience.