Westland: land of ice dragons

Some locals say that people who move to Westland are either running away or in search of something.


A helicopter is dwarfed by the vast landscapes of Fox Glacier. © Tourism West Coast

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Get outdoors

Kahurangi National Park: a treasured possession

Kahurangi, New Zealand’s second largest national park, includes the famous Heaphy Track, the Ōpārara Basin complex of limestone arches and 1795m-high Mount Arthur.  Read the story . . . 

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Road trips

Five fun things to do on the West Coast

Take a road trip down the South Island's West Coast where you'll find natural hot pools, gold mining heritage and some of New Zealand's most spectacular scenery. Read the story . . . 

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Activities

Adventure time: Waiatoto River jet boat safari

The jet boat ride up the Waiatoto River in Haast is not a thrill-seeking-360º-spins kind of experience, rather a cruise to discover some of the region’s remote and pristine landscapes. Read the story . . . 

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Activities

Adventure time: Franz Josef heli hike

While there are short walks that take you to the base of Franz Josef Glacier, the only way to actually set foot on the ice is via helicopter.  Read the story . . . 

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Road trips

Westland road trip: a deep green journey

Low-slung clouds obscure the landscape and as we drive closer, it turns to rain, veiling the steeply rising hills. Moody is a good word for this part of the country.  Read the story . . . 

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Walking

Get outdoors: 14 must-do short walks

New Zealand is blessed with so many beautiful and varied landscapes. Often the best way to discover them is on foot.  Read the story . . . 

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Get outdoors

Adventure time: tramping in New Zealand

Known in other countries as hiking, bushwalking or trekking, tramping is a uniquely Kiwi term that fits the style of walking here – often rough, frequently wet, but regularly inspiring.  Read the story . . . 

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Road trips

Full spectrum: road tripping from Lake Hāwea to Jackson Bay

From lakes, through ancient forests and mountain passes, past waterfalls and rushing blue rivers, to the sea – this journey pays homage to our land’s extraordinary geography and wild beauty. Read the story . . . 

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Activities

Hokitika: nuggets of history

Back in the 1800s dance halls and shooting-galleries, barmaids and ladies of ‘relaxed virtue’ all crowded along Hokitika’s golden mile, vying to entertain the hundreds of diggers. Read the story . . . 

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Road trips

Arthur's Pass: to the other side

Today the landscape of Arthur's Pass is punctuated with small towns that cling to the geography despite harsh wind, snow and mercurial populations. Read the story . . . 

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Things to do

Arthur’s Pass National Park: over the backbone

The high mountains of Arthur’s Pass National Park are the ‘backbone’ of the South Island and the pass itself is the key link between east and west. Read the story . . . 

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Get outdoors

Mount Aspiring National Park: aspiring to greatness

Mount Aspiring is one of New Zealand’s highest peaks and the park named for it is a paradise of mountains, glaciers, river valleys and alpine lakes.  Read the story . . . 

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Walking

Cape Foulwind Walkway

Explore this spectacular walkway which features a seal colony, a lighthouse and also provides panoramic views of mountains and coastline.  Read the story . . . 

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Walking

Fox Glacier Te Moeka o Tūawe Valley Walk

There are spectacular views of the Fox Glacier in this is beautiful, yet volatile place – do not let the serene scene fool you... Read the story . . . 

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Walking

Franz Josef Glacier Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere Walk

Follow a rocky riverbed path then climb to the Franz Josef Glacier viewing area. It's a beautiful yet dangerous place that is sometimes closed, so check it's open before you start. Read the story . . . 

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Walking

Lake Matheson Walks

The unsurpassed views and mountain reflections from the forested shores of Lake Matheson make this easy walk, one of the most popular on the West Coast. Read the story . . . 

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