Spectacular river gorges, rainforests, limestone caves, blowholes, glaciers, mountain ranges and early settler heritage abound on the wonderful West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. The Coast, preserved in all or part of five National Parks, is a long 600 kilometre, narrow strip bound on the east by giant, imposing mountain ranges and by a wild, rugged coastline on the west.
Wildlife is abundant both on the coastline and in the forests. Seals are common with large colonies at Cape Foulwind, Westport and in South Westland as are the rarest dolphins in the world, Hectors dolphin found up and down the coast. The comical mountain parrot, the Kea, can often be found at unusually low altitudes and is renowned and respected for its mischievousness. At night the bush-lined roads and walking tracks are dotted with the small blue lights of glow worms.
The West Coast is famous for its ‘whitebait’ (small freshwater fish), so make sure you try some traditional whitebait patties on your visit too!
Whatever the weather, you’ll be happy that you made the journey to the wild and wonderful West Coast of the Southern Alps - a truly different part of the country which offers lasting memories of good times and world class scenery.
There are plenty of MANZ members in this region – use the search boxes below to find them.