With the Southern Alps taking centre stage, the intense scenery alone is enough to fill your clients’ days on the West Coast.
Visitors really get a feel for the West Coast by going off road. They can walk amongst the trees in the rainforest and treetop walkway, climb up the glistening Franz Joseph or Fox Glaciers or take on the rivers in a kayak or raft. Do your clients just want to relax? Then they can pull a pint of beer at a local brewery or take the time to see one of the many historic sites. Greymouth is the largest town on the Coast, although the population in the the whole West Coast area is only 31,000.
The Best of the West Coast
- Glaciers: The Franz Joseph and Fox Glaciers offer a spectacle like no other. They're both accessible by helicopter and guided hiking trips, although clients can walk by themselves to the terminal face of each glacier.
- Geological wonders: Visitors can visit widely recognised natural attractions such as the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes as they cruise down Great Coast Road, a thoroughly recommended coastal drive.
- Pounamu: Your clients will learn the history of Pounamu – otherwise known as greenstone or jade stones – at its birthplace. See the master carvers shape it into carvings, sculptures and jewellery.
- Mining: Gold and coal mining dominated the area in the past, and now your clients can experience it too by visiting a host of old mines on foot.
- Rail journeys: The daily TranzAlpine journey between Greymouth and Christchurch offers one of the best rail journeys around, passing some of the South Island’s most beautiful scenery including the Southern Alps.