Known for it's ruggard coastlines, ancient glaciers and lush native forests the West Coast is a region of stunning wild beauty. Discover the best of the West Coast with these top day trips.
Carved over millions of years, the pancake rocks at Punakaiki, north of Greymouth, are a sight to behold at high tide.
A walkway leads you through native forest, flax and scrub before emerging at the edge of the cliffs above the blowholes. Gaze in wonder as jets of water spray up through rocks that resemble stacks of giant hotcakes. At the settlement of Punakaiki, you can also book horse treks, caving, rafting and canoeing adventures.
Drive down the wild west coast toward glacier country – Franz Josef is closer to Greymouth, with Fox Glacier about 15 minutes further south. These massive ice giants flow almost to sea level and their low altitude makes them some of the most convenient in the world to visit. Easy walks to the terminal faces pass along ancient valleys. Professional guides lead journeys onto the ice – flights are weather dependent.
Lying inland from the coast, Lake Brunner is the largest lake on the west coast and the most popular angling water in the region. The lake and its nearby rivers and streams boast some of the best brown trout (averaging 1.1kg) around - the saying goes that ‘trout die of old age’ here. Fishing is possible all year and in almost any weather, with boats available for hire. Other options include swimming, water skiing, jetboating, and even walking or cycling on local trails.