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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Activities

Get outside: 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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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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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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Activities

Adventure time: Haast 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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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

Experience the sea as it’s meant to be at a marine reserve

New Zealand’s marine reserves and protected areas offer visitors a unique opportunity to see fish and marine life, thriving and abundant in their natural environment.   Read the story . . . 

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Activities

Cross the South Island on the TranzAlpine, one of the world's most scenic train journeys

As far as window seats go, they don’t get much better than on the TranzAlpine, where the term ‘picture window’ takes on a whole new meaning.  Read the story . . . 

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Natural attractions

Discover the geological wonder of the Ōpārara Arches

Experience limestone arches, caves, a whisky-coloured river and lush rainforest in the Kahurangi National Park on the West Coast. Read the story . . . 

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Natural attractions

Heavenly Haast: a UNESCO World Heritage Area

The southern corner of the South Island’s West Coast is home to landscapes so wild and spectacular, it has been recognised by UNESCO as an area of international significance.  Read the story . . . 

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Natural attractions

Get a real sense of scale at Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers

Even visiting the vast swathes of ice that make up Franz and Fox Glaciers in peak summer, you’ll need your puffer jacket.  Read the story . . . 

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Food and drink

Challenge your taste buds at the Hokitika Wildfoods Festival

In Hokitika, locals celebrate their remote and rugged surrounds in the form of questionable cuisine.  Read the story . . . 

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Activities

Cross the Buller river on one of New Zealand’s longest swing bridges

Walk the 110-metre wire swing bridge above the churning green water to experience the power of the river and get a whole new perspective on the Buller Gorge. Read the story . . . 

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Food and drink

Fish n' chips and L&P on the beach

From Ahipara to Ahuriri; Mangonui to the Mount; Paihia to Piha – New Zealand is spoilt for spots to enjoy fish and chips by the sea.  Read the story . . . 

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