The West Coast's two largest glaciers – Fox and Franz Josef – extend almost to sea level, making parts of them easily accessible for walking and hiking.
There are several ways to experience the glaciers, including the spectacular Franz Josef Walk – a moderate 1 ½ hour return walk up the glacier valley. You can also walk to the terminus of either glacier, or hike through the bush to a viewing point.
Visit the spectacular Paparoa National Park on the Porari River Track, another brief walk that lasts for 1 hour or just under. Pass between dramatic limestone cliffs and take in the views of sub-tropical forest.
The Ship Creek walk near the Haast township provides an insight into ancient Kahikatea swamp forest, with a boardwalk providing easy viewing of the forest. Keep on walking to the dune lake where you'll find magnificent views of the windswept coastline.