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Natural attractions

Matakana coast and country: weekend wonderland

Not that long ago, Matakana was just a bend in the road between Warkworth and Leigh. Now it’s a byword for gourmet food, top-quality wine and arthouse cinema. Read the story . . . 

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Natural attractions

Timber Trail: cycle in the footsteps of early loggers

Ride through ancient podocarp forest, over some of New Zealand's longest and highest suspension bridges and along an old bush tramway following the hard-fought footsteps of early loggers. Read the story . . . 

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Activities

Tutukākā and the Poor Knights: national treasure

One of the best places for those who want to experience the full range of watery pastimes is the east coast of Northland and, in particular, Tutukākā, just to the north-east of Whangārei. Read the story . . . 

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Natural attractions

South Westland: a wonder of the world

The bottom left-hand corner of our little country, South Westland, is a world-renowned UNESCO World Heritage area. Read the story . . . 

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Natural attractions

Westland: land of ice dragons

Like an unfurling, white dragon, the Franz Josef Glacier flexes and curves between steep-walled valleys. Māori named it Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere – tears of the Avalanche Girl. Read the story . . . 

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Natural attractions

Westland Tai Poutini National Park: ancient ice

Westland Tai Poutini is an area of majestic primaeval vistas: snow-capped mountains, glistening glaciers, forests, lakes, rivers and wetlands... Read the story . . . 

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Natural attractions

The Blue Pools of Haast Pass

Māori knew about the glacial defile between the coastal flats of South Westland and the high tussock-land surrounding the southern lakes from their expeditions in search of pounamu.  Read the story . . . 

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Activities

The Grand Traverse: a spectacular flight of fancy

The Grand Traverse is a stunning scenic flight that explores the Aoraki Mt Cook and Westland Tai Poutini national park, covering about 200km of unforgettable scenery. Read the story . . . 

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Things to do

Waiau Glacier Coast Marine Reserve

Fed by two lagoons and the Waiho River, the Waiau Glacier Coast Marine Reserve forms a protective buffer for these waterways and wetlands.   Read the story . . . 

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Natural attractions

Te Ara a Waiau Walkway/Cycleway

Walk or cycle through bush from Franz Josef township to the Franz Josef Glacier car park.  Read the story . . . 

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Natural attractions

Lake Matheson: the perfect mirror

If you find yourself on the West Coast in a reflective mood, you’ll also find you’re in good company. Read the story . . . 

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Things to do

Punakāiki Pancake Rocks: geological marvel

Funny that Māori should have had a word that sounded so much like the English word for ‘pancakes’. Read the story . . . 

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Things to do

Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers

Many of the crinklier bits of New Zealand’s geography were formed by the slow but insistent action of glaciers. Read the story . . . 

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Things to do

Punakāiki Marine Reserve

Punakāiki Marine Reserve surrounds the pancake rocks and blowholes at Dolomite Point, one of the most distinctive landscapes of the West Coast. Read the story . . . 

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