By Camilla Rutherford
A visit to the West Coast would be incomplete without seeing the Franz Josef and Fox glaciers. The town of Greymouth is an ideal base for this region.
Greymouth is a town with a history of jade hunting, gold mining and dramatic river floods. Sample the beer and listen to wild west coast stories.
Franz Josef town is the best place to stay to explore Franz Josef Glacier, a spectacular World Heritage Area. Take a guided ice walk or a heli-hike.
Tucked into the forested foothills of the Southern Alps, the cosy township of Fox Glacier is geared up for glacier walks, hikes and flights.
Haast is situated in the heart of Te Wāhipounamu World Heritage Area. There are national parks to the north, south and east.
Allow plenty of time to journey over Haast Pass to the coast. Short walks begin at the road's edge, leading you through rainforest to fabulous waterfalls.
Historic Hokitika is a place to appreciate the fascinating history of the West Coast. Hear about the ship wrecks, gold miners and pounamu hunters that lived in this stunning coastal area.
Gaze in wonder at the Punakaiki pancake rocks and blowholes, where columns of water shoot skyward from rocks that resemble giant stacks of hotcakes.
Gold mining gave Westport life, but coal mining keeps the town going. From here you can arrange to go underground rafting, caving or jet boating.
The splendid isolation of Karamea is part of its appeal. All kinds of adventure activities can be organised here, including caving and kayaking.
They say that ‘trout die of old age’ at Lake Brunner. Moana is the lake’s only settlement; it’s also a train stop for the TranzAlpine.
Take a kayak or a guided tour to explore New Zealand's largest unmodified estuarine lagoon - home to more than 70 bird species, including the beautiful kot
Reefton has a glittering past that you can still appreciate today. Find out about gold mining and walk the heritage trail around the town.
Once a bustling centre of gold mining activity on the West Coast, Kumara is now a major stopping point for the West Coast Wilderness cycling trail.
Kayak and hike through fascinating limestone formations and ancient native forests in the southwest corner of the Kahurangi National Park.
The township of Ross was first settled in 1865, during the West Coast gold rush. Today it is rich with gold-mining history and West Coast charm.