West Coast & Glaciers

About The Region
Attractions + Events
Map
Drive Times

About The Region

Take the scenic TranzAlpine railway from Christchurch to Greymouth, pick up a car and be on your way along one of the best coastal drives in the world exploring the West Coast of New Zealand. The West Coast contains 5 of New Zealand’s 14 national parks – Kahurangi, Paparoa, Arthur’s Pass, Westland and Mount Aspiring.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
— Mark Twain

Explore the pristine wetlands, beaches, grasslands, lakes, mountains and forests of this region. The West Coast is glacier country with 2 very accessible twin glaciers Fox & Franz Josef glaciers midway down the coast. The first time visitors stepping onto a glacier is a truly amazing experience, exploring the blue ice caves is an encounter you will never forget. Don’t forget your camera!

Attractions + Events

Attractions

  • 5 national parks – Kahurangi, Paparoa, Arthur’s Pass, Westland and Mount Aspiring.
  • Pancake Rocks and blowholes at Punakaiki.
  • NZ Fur Seal colony at Cape Foulwind.
  • White Heron colony at Whataroa (Nov-Feb).
  • Fox & Franz Josef Glaciers.
  • The near perfect reflections at Lake Matheson.
  • Numerous short and multi day walks including the 82 km Heaphy Track from Karamea.
  • Galleries in Westport
  • Greymouth & Hokitika for gold and greenstone.
  • Haast Pass.
  • The TranzAlpine train journey from Christchurch to Greymouth is hailed as one of the top 6 rail journeys in the world.

Events

Visit the West Coast and attend one of the many local events in this region.

  • 14th November 2015
    Coast Road Cycle Challenge
  • 12th – 13th February 2016
    Speights Coast to Coast Race
  • 13th February 2016
    Buller Marathon
  • 12th March 2016
    Wildfoods Festival

Map

West Coast NZ

Drive Times

From To Kms Hrs
Greymouth Christchurch 255 kms 3 hrs 45 mins
Greymouth Franz Josef 180 kms 2 hrs 30 mins
Greymouth Haast 315 kms 4 hrs 30 mins
Greymouth Punakaiki 44 kms 45 mins
Franz Josef Glacier Fox Glacier 25 kms 30 mins
Fox Haast 120 kms 1 hrs 30 mins
Haast Queenstown 250 kms 3 hrs 45 mins
Fox Wanaka 260 kms 4 hrs
Franz Josef Christchurch 395 kms 5 hrs 40 mins