Flanked by the Southern Alps, the majority of the region is achingly gorgeous wilderness before it levels out into a ruggedly handsome coastline.
Nature has provided a sizeable ‘must-see’ list here with Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, the Pancake Rocks and the Buller River. But away from the famous names you’ll also find lesser-known treasures including Karamea’s limestone arches.
Still relatively untouched by industry or tourism, it’s the perfect place to escape and discover New Zealand’s wild side. It makes a lovely spot for traditional tramping (hiking in the backwoods) but you’ll also find plenty of quirkier activities. In March, the annual Wildfoods Festival rolls in Hokitika and is definitely worth attending for anyone with adventurous taste buds.
Why visit the West Coast?
Visit Franz Josef Glacier for astonishing icy scenery
Go tramping in the miles of wilderness that make up the majority of the West Coast
Admire the stunning Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki and Karamea’s limestone arches
If your timing is good, head to the Wildfoods Festival in Hokitika