The West Coast is home to magnificent glaciers, seal colonies and spectacular national parks. If you like unique and wild places, don't miss the natural wonders of this region.
The breath taking expanses of ice also known as the Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier are not to be missed. Half an hour apart in the Westland Tai Poutini National Park, it’s an easy walk to the foot of Franz Josef Glacier and not long before you feel like you’ve entered another world. You can also take in the views of Fox Glacier in its entirety from Cook Flat Road (on the way to Lake Matheson).
On the West Coast you will also find Mount Aspiring National Park, known for its mix of remote wilderness, high mountains and beautiful river valleys. It is New Zealand’s third largest national park. Further up the coast is Paparoa National Park – a coastal forest with limestone cliffs and canyons, caves and underground streams.
If you’re in the mood for seeing some furry creatures, a visit to the Cape Foulwind Seal Colony is a must. Because it’s a breeding colony, there’s plenty of activity throughout the year.
The West Coast also boasts the Heaphy Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks. Pass through varied landscapes from lush rainforest and rugged mountains to palm-fringed surf beaches.
Take a break from the land and get active on the water by kayaking through New Zealand’s largest unmodified estuarine lagoon, Okarito. It is surrounded by lush native rainforest and more than 70 bird species call it home.