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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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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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Top 7 Mountain Biking Towns in New Zealand

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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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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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30th Anniversary Greymouth Motorcycle Street Race
30th Anniversary Greymouth Motorcycle Street Race

When: Oct 27, 09:00 AM to 05:30 PM
Where: Mackay Street, Greymouth, Greymouth, Grey
Venue: Greymouth Street Race Circuit, Greymouth, Grey

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

All Tracks Lead To Blackball
All Tracks Lead To Blackball

When: Nov 30, 04:00 PM to 11:30 PM
Where: Hart Street, Blackball, Grey
Venue: The Village Green, Blackball, Grey

Greymouth Market
Greymouth Market

When: Oct 6 to Jan 26, 10:00 AM to 02:00 PM
Where: 73-87 Tainui St, Greymouth, Grey
Venue: Tai Poutini Polytechnic, Greymouth, Grey

Ride the Wilderness
Ride the Wilderness

When: Nov 16, 08:00 AM to 04:00 PM
Where: 4 Aylmer St, Ross, Westland
Venue: Ross Goldfields Information & Heritage Centre, Ross, Westland

The Extravaganza Fair
The Extravaganza Fair

When: Nov 23 to Nov 24, 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM
Where: Miro Street, Greymouth, Grey
Venue: Karoro Domain, Greymouth, Grey

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

Mel Parsons
Mel Parsons

When: Oct 25, 08:00 PM to 11:59 PM
Where: 105 Palmerston St, Westport, Buller
Venue: NBS Theatre, Westport, Buller

Breathe - Conscious Breathing
Breathe - Conscious Breathing

When: Oct 26, 10:30 AM to 02:00 PM
Where: 38 Albert St, Greymouth, Grey
Venue: New Coasters, Greymouth, Grey

Greg Copeland and Steve 'Guitar' Gilles acoustic Blues duo
Greg Copeland and Steve 'Guitar' Gilles acoustic Blues duo

When: Oct 29, 08:00 PM to 10:30 PM
Where: 1 Main St, Barrytown, Greymouth, Grey
Venue: Barrytown Hall, 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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