New Zealand’s West Coast is wild, rugged, history, natural wonders and spectacular landscapes. The windswept beaches are covered in driftwood, semi polished stones and all sorts of bits and pieces stirred up by the sea. Gold mines, jade factories, ghost towns, old cemeteries and remnants of New Zealand’s early settlers provide an intriguing choice of West Coast attractions to discover. Many of the West Coast’s major historical places of interest are signposted making them easy to find and providing interesting stops along your journey.
West Coast activities include mountain biking, wildlife viewing, forest walks, fishing and accessibility to the mighty South Island attractions of Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. The towns of Westport, Greymouth and Hokitika are the best places to find West Coast accommodation although there are a number of small settlements off the beaten track that offer hosted accommodation, holiday parks and motels. Among some of the more unique attractions on New Zealand’s West Coast are visits to limestone caves, scenic coastal roads, replica villages of working gold towns, Punakaiki’s pancake rocks, natural mineral hot pools and ancient fishing villages.
New Zealand’s West Coast is home to many generations of the first settlers and is considered to be one of the best places to see and discover New Zealand’s true identity. There are many places on the West Coast that haven’t changed very much over the course of the years due to their isolation and rugged way of life. The roads and walkways uncover old mining sites, timber bridges and a series of tracks that follow the trails of the early settlers. New Zealand’s most famous rail journey, the Tranz Alpine runs from Greymouth to Christchurch and return taking you through the Southern Alps and across magnificent landscapes. This world renowned journey is considered to be one of New Zealand’s West Coast must dos with good reason.
The West Coast is New Zealand’s only source of Jade- or Greenstone, providing a great opportunity to see working greenstone carvers on one of New Zealand’s West Coast tours. Other West Coast tours worth a mention are heritage tours, the Monteith’s Brewery tour, quad biking, scenic flights, adventure tours, jet boating and cave rafting. Beauty and spa treatments and luxury pampering packages are designed to soothe away the aches and pains of your West Coast holiday. Wild and rugged with a heart of gold are the words that truly capture the spirit of New Zealand’s West Coast.