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The West Coast - untamed natural wilderness

The West Coast of the South Island is a treasure trove of outdoor delights, with Franz Josef Glacier the jewel in its glittering crown. Towering over the lush rainforest of the Westland Tai Poutini National Park, this giant glacier features caves, tunnels and crevasses you can explore on a guided tour.

Follow the twists and turns of the Great Coast Road to see more of this vast region, planning pitstops at the cool little town of Hokitika, Punakaiki’s pancake rocks and blowholes, and the rugged coastline around Westport.

at a glance

Best known for

some of the most accessible glaciers in the world

Did you know

‘Coasters’ are famous for their warm hospitality

Don't leave without

catching the sunset over the Tasman Sea

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stories

YHA Franz Josef dawn at lake matheson
DOC Short Walks

Experience some of New Zealand's highlights in easy-to-manage, bite-sized pieces.

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yha Kaikoura surfer looking for waves to catch
7 Epic Surf Spots in New Zealand

With so much coastline to explore, it'd be rude not to hit the surf on your next NZ break.

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Bird view of Queenstown at night
Enjoying the South Island Spirit

New Zealand’s South Island moves at a different pace from the north. Divided by the formidable Southern Alps, the sheer extremes of the land...

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YHA Franz Josef dawn at lake matheson
Literally Just 15 Beautiful Shots Near Franz Josef

If you've ever wondered why you should visit Franz Josef, this is it! Featuring a walk up to and scenic flight over the glaciers, Lake Matheson,...

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road trip hanmer springs canterbury
Weekend Road-Tripping in New Zealand

We've put together a helpful guide for making the most of your weekends in 2020! All of our tip-top advice, a few things to keep in mind and even...

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yha christchurch cyclist couple looking over lyttleton in the port hills
Top 8 Mountain Biking Towns in New Zealand

Whether you're an avid downhill mountain biker or trail rider, our 35+ hostels have you covered when it comes to hanging up your helmet at the end...

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events

Wildfoods Festival 2020
Wildfoods Festival 2020

When: Mar 7, 10:00 AM to 08:00 PM
Where: Weld Street, Hokitika, Westland
Venue: Cass Square, Hokitika, Westland

Carters Beach Community Market
Carters Beach Community Market

When: Feb 22 to Apr 4, 01:00 PM to 04:00 PM
Where: Marine Parade, Carters Beach, Westport, Buller
Venue: Carters Beach Domain, Westport, Buller

The Original Gypsy Fair – Est'd 1990
The Original Gypsy Fair – Est'd 1990

When: Feb 29 to Mar 1, 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM
Where: Derby Street, Westport, Buller
Venue: Westport Racecourse, Westport, Buller

South Island Ultra Marathon
South Island Ultra Marathon

When: May 9, 05:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Where: Finish & Race HQ - Beachfront Hotel Hokitika
Venue: West Coast Wilderness Trail, Hokitika, West Coast

Judah Kelly - Feels Like Home NZ Tour
Judah Kelly - Feels Like Home NZ Tour

When: Mar 30, 07:30 PM to 11:59 PM
Where: 80 Gibson Quay, Hokitika, Westland
Venue: Pioneer Hotel, Hokitika, Westland

The Flaming Mudcats - South Island Tour 2020
The Flaming Mudcats - South Island Tour 2020

When: Mar 8, 08:00 PM to 11:59 PM
Where: 6 Cargills Rd, Punakaiki, Buller
Venue: Barrytown Hall, Punakaiki, Buller

Mountainfilm On Tour 2020 - Greymouth
Mountainfilm On Tour 2020 - Greymouth

When: Apr 29 to May 3, 08:00 PM to 06:00 PM
Where: Cnr Mackay & Herbert Sts, Greymouth, Grey
Venue: Regent Theatre, Greymouth, Grey

Judah Kelly - Feels Like Home NZ Tour
Judah Kelly - Feels Like Home NZ Tour

When: Mar 27, 08:00 PM to 11:59 PM
Where: 105 Palmerston St, Westport, Buller
Venue: NBS Theatre, Westport, Buller

Caleb Isaacs Tour
Caleb Isaacs Tour

When: Mar 28, 08:00 PM to 11:59 PM
Where: 1 Main St, Barrytown, Greymouth, Grey
Venue: Barrytown Hall, Greymouth, Grey

Matariki Glow Show!
Matariki Glow Show!

When: Jun 26, 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Where: Cnr Mackay & Herbert Sts, Greymouth, Grey
Venue: Regent Theatre, Greymouth, Grey

Nearby Hostels

YHA Franz Josef Exterior Entrance to reception view more

YHA Franz Josef

Explore glaciers, lakes, and mountains from YHA Franz Josef, a backpacker hostel that sits right on the edge of the West Coast rainforest and offers a sauna that's perfect after a day at the glacier.

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YHA Hokitika - 2018 -  Building view more

YHA Hokitika

YHA Hokitika, Birdsong Accommodation is family-run hostel that is known for it's warm welcoming ambiance, cleanliness, bird-inspired artwork, and modern facilities.

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YHA Punakaiki main building view more

YHA Punakaiki

YHA Punakaiki Te Nikau Retreat is nestled among native rainforest on the West Coast for a sense of total escapism. Relax among the bush, a short stroll from the Truman Track and beach.

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YHA Westport roadside exterior of hostel view more

YHA Westport

YHA Westport TripInn Hostel is a unique backpacker hostel due to its history as a stately gentlemen's residence. The architecture and friendly staff create an atmosphere not seen in many hostels.

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YHA Christchurch exterior view more

YHA Christchurch

YHA Christchurch is a homely heritage building with a modern atmosphere. Located near the town centre, this backpacker hostel is a perfect home base to see everything Christchurch has to offer!

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YHA Nelson colourful dining room area view more

YHA Nelson

YHA Nelson is a comfortable, central backpacker hostel next to the popular Nelson Markets. Enjoy our garden, BBQ area, and well-equipped communal areas.

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