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 walk to the terminus of Franz Josef Glacier, or take in the views of Fox Glacier from Cook Flat Road (on the way to Lake Matheson).

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.


Recommended Experiences

  1. Ship Creek Walks

    • Ancient forest
    • Tall kahikatea
    • Overlook Lake Mataketake


    • 30 mins (return)
    • 1 Km
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    West Coast

  2. Blue Pools Track

    • Swing bridge
    • Native beech forests
    • Azure blue pools


    • 1 hour
    • 1.5 km(return)
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  3. Pororari River Track

    • Limestone gorge
    • River with deep pools
    • Lookout point


    • 1 hr
    • 7 km
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    West Coast

  4. Cape Foulwind Walkway

    • New Zealand fur seal colony
    • Cape Foulwind lighthouse
    • Panoramic coastal and mountain views

    There are two sections on this walkway, one to Tauranga Bay, the other to Cape Foulwind lighthouse.

    • 1.25 hrs
    • 3.4 km (one way)
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    West Coast

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