One of the last frontiers in New Zealand, this wild and isolated coast is one of the
most spectacular and unpopulated regions of New Zealand. There’s a lot to see
as you head down the Great Coast Road from Westport to the sleepy little hollow
of Jackson Bay at road’s end. A drive that was recently voted one of the top 10
coastal drives in the world by Lonely Planet. Visit the Franz Josef Glacier, the pancake rocks and blowholes at Punakaiki or
enjoy the views from the Treetop Walk. Meet the coasters (locals) a bunch of
independent, self-reliant but hugely friendly and hospitable people. Sit down and
have a beer with them and they’ll regale you with west coast stories.
The West Coast is New Zealand’s only source of greenstone (pounamu) with
the boulders found in the West Coast rivers and mountains beyond. Ngai
Tahu Maori made a living from trading this valuable stone to other Maori
around the country and in Hokitika you can take a tour and watch the
greenstone carvers at work.
The fishing on this coast is hard and almost 100% land based but the rivers
and lakes are filled with Trout and Salmon.
Visit the Mahinapua Pub – Poo Pub.
Take a helicopter ride up to walk on the Franz Josef Glacier.
Go trout and salmon fishing on Lake Mapourika.
Fish and Chips (or a crayfish) at the Craypot Café in Jackson Bay.