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With a population of only 31,000 people, the West Coast retains the feeling of a pioneer frontier. It's a wild place known for rivers and rainforests, glaciers and geological treasures. Legends and stories from the past cling to every feature of the landscape.
Maori were first to discover the West Coast, seeking sacred pounamu (nephrite jade or greenstone). Gold fever in the 1860s brought Europeans, many of whom stayed on to start farming, forestry and businesses.
The locals are known as 'coasters', a term synonymous with friendliness and hospitality. Isolated from the rest of New Zealand by the Southern Alps, coasters have developed a distinctive culture of their own. Their pioneering values of self-reliance and loyalty are as strong today as they were 100 years ago.
Our West Coast accommodation is perfectly positioned for you to explore the ancient rivers of ice. Of all the glaciers in the Southern Alps, only the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers have crept as far as the rainforests. The giant tongues of ice have squeezed down their valleys to just 250 metres above sea level! A must see tourist attraction!!!
Punakaiki’s pancake rocks and blowholes are among the West Coast's most famous sights. The fascinating pancakes are thin, horizontal layers of limestone about two to four centimetres thick!
Another must see attraction are the Oparara Arches. The largest of the three limestone arches at Oparara is a natural tunnel 200 metres long, 49 metres wide and 37 metres high. A riverbank walkway will lead you through silver beech forest right into the arch.
Our West Coast accommodation is a great place to begin to explore the West Coast, which is the longest region in New Zealand.
Need insider tips on must-see attractions in West Coast? Check out our West Coast travel guide!
Hotels in West Coast start at AU$84 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.