Exploring the West Coast

Discover the best ways to explore the beauty of the West Coast of the Southern Alps.

1. Kayaking

A unique way to see rainforest, mountains, glaciers and panoramic views is on a kayaking adventure.  Guided kayaking tours are a great way to learn about the area from knowledgeable guides who will take you to secluded spots. 

2. Walking and hiking

The West Coast has 14 national parks in the region offering an abundance of trails and tracks in the area to explore.  The popular national parks and walks in the region include exploring the Heaphy and Wangapeka Tracks in Kahurangi National Park, going on a short walk to see the Pancake Rocks in Paparoa National Park, viewing the stunning Devils Punchbowl Waterfall in Arthur’s Pass National Park and exploring where the glaciers meet rainforest in Westland Tai Poutini National Park. 

3. Road trip

The journey along the West Coast has been voted by Lonely Planet as one of the top 10 coastal drives in the world. Some of the top highlights along the journey are stopping at Pancake Rocks to see the unique rock formations in Punakaiki, panning for gold and learning the history of the region at Shantytown Heritage Park and visiting Fox or Franz Josef to see the mammoth glacier formations.  There are several other great stops along the way to make your West Coast road trip memorable.         

4. Train

The scenic train trip travels from Christchurch to Greymouth and there are stops along the way where you can get out to explore the beauty of the West Coast Region.  Hop off in Greymouth where you can visit the Monteiths Brewing Company, stop in Moana to go fishing at Lake Brunner, or relax the whole journey to see the changing landscape of the plains, forest and greenery. 

Discover the beauty of the West Coast and being your adventure exploring the rugged outdoors!

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