Prepare yourself for dramatically rugged scenery and wild West Coast weather which give this region its breathtaking character. Pounamu (Greenstone) deposits along the west coast are shaped into beautiful forms by skilled carvers in Hokitika; a stunning memento of a special place. Visit the amazing coastal rock formations at Punakaiki and enjoy the show of the rough surf as it surges through the blow holes and showers the Pancake Rocks. Farther south ancient forests fringe the twin glaciers of Fox and Franz Josef and whether you venture on a full day guided ice climb from below or soar above the ice on a scenic flight time spent here is truly unforgettable.
Don’t miss the Hokitika Wild Food Festival
The Wild Food Festival in Hokitika each March is famous for the special West Coast food that is on offer. At the festival you will find possum pies, huhu grubs, cows’ udders, Chatham Island seagulls, gorse flower wine and gourmet garden snails, and magpie pies. There is also plenty of West Coast whitebait for those not so keen to try the interesting wild foods. To wash down the 'Wild Foods' there is plenty of the West Coast's most famous beer Monteiths on tap. There are three stages at the festival where there is living music and entertainment all day long.
Did you know?
While glaciers around the world are retreating, the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers still flow almost to sea level. The temperate climate at this low altitude means these glaciers are among the most convenient to visit in the world. Easy walks to the foot of the glaciers pass along ancient river valleys with steep sides bearing gigantic horizontal scars from when the glaciers have retreated and advanced over millennia.