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West Coast Fox Franz Josef Glaciers Lake Moeraki Punakaiki New Zealand
  • Overview
  • Accommodation
  • Activities and short breaks
  • Holidays

A narrow corridor of land, bounded by the Southern Alps to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. To travel this region is to experience arguably New Zealand’s most scenic drive. Highlights of the region are the Fox Glacier, Franz Josef Glacier and the intriguing Pancake Rocks and Blowholes at Punakaiki.

The Westland region has an interesting history – long treasured by the Maori as a source of pounamu (greenstone), Maori guides and traditional trails were sometimes used to assist colonial explorers to survey the land. In the 1860’s treasure of a different kind brought an influx of miners chasing the gold rush. Many small towns and settlements went through the 'boom and bust cycle' as strikes were discovered and subsequently abandoned. The roots of some present day towns, such as Hokitika, were in the shanty towns of the gold mining era but many others disappeared completely as the workforce moved on, taking everything with them, sometimes leaving behind only the graves of those who succumbed to the adversities of life on the goldfields.

The region also boasts picturesque bush clad lakes, glacier fed rivers and streams, wild beaches, and views of snow capped mountains including Mount Cook and Mount Tasman.

National Parks in the region are:

  • Kahurangi National Park located in the far north end extending from the end of the highway to Cape Farewell.
  • The Paparoa National Park with its stunning karst limestone gorges near Punakaiki.
  • Westland National Park encompasses the Glaciers – that can be accessed independently as far as the terminal face, as a guided walk onto the glaciers or as a Heli-hike.

The South West New Zealand World Heritage Area

This vast protected area takes in the Westland National Park, and extends through Mount Cook, Mount Aspiring and Fiordland National Park and covers 2.6 million hectares – almost 10% of New Zealand’s total land area. Features of the South Westland section include the forests of southern beech and podacarp, our native parrot the kea and some of New Zealand’s rarest varieties of kiwi.

The beaches west of Lake Moeraki are a breeding ground for the Fiordland Crested Penguin that begin to arrive around late June and depart early December. The Wilderness Lodge at Lake Moeraki runs a program of guided nature experiences, year round, that introduce the visitor to the flora and fauna of South Westland.

Accommodation

Fox Glacier
Misty Peaks
B&B
Janny and Sytze welcome you to Misty Peaks, the purpose-built luxury bed and breakfast homestay accommodation at magnificent Fox Glacier. Misty Peaks offers you the very best in quality, comfort and genuine Kiwi hospitality.
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Franz Josef
Glenfern Villas
Superior Motel & Villas
Glenfern Villas near Franz Josef Glacier provides roomy, luxurious, stylish and contemporary apartment style accommodation, with the high levels of service that you expect. A total of 10 x 1 Bedroom Villas and 8x 2 Bedroom Villas.
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Franz Josef
Westwood Lodge
Deluxe B&B
Relax in the sumptuous Lodge Lounge and Bar with impressive fire and magnificent views or enjoy the outdoors in any weather from within the Conservatory. Withdraw to the Billiard Room, take your cue and check the rub of the green. Start your day of exploration of Franz Josef with a Continental and Cooked Breakfast from our delectable menu
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Franz Josef
Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Luxury Hotel
A Luxury Hotel Experience in Franz Josef Glacier Te Waonui Forest Retreat is truly a place to relax and refresh. Every aspect of the 5 star Te Waonui Forest Retreat has been crafted to an impeccable standard and every detail you can imagine has been thought out and developed.
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Franz Josef
Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier
Hotel
Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier is close to the edge of one of New Zealand's most spectacular natural attractions, welcoming you to this enticing and dramatic region. This hotel sits at the edge of the Westland World Heritage Park, and is just moments from one of New Zealand’s most spectacular natural attractions, the Franz Josef Glacier.
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Hokitika
Teichelmann's
B&B
Your kiwi hosts Frances and Brian are proud to offer friendly, informal hospitality within the comfort of our warm and inviting bed and breakfast character home. This character accommodation gives you the opportunity to ‘catch your breath & breakfast’ on your exciting New Zealand West Coast itinerary.
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Lake Moeraki
Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki
Lodge
From Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge spectacular beaches that are home to fur seals and crested penguins, untouched lowland rainforests spread between pristine lakes and rivers which drain the snow capped Southern Alps. Few places on earth can match the unique natural setting of the Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki in the heart of the 2.7 million hectares South West New Zealand World Heritage Area,
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Punakaiki
Punakaiki Resort Hotel
Hotel
Magnificent ocean-front location, with spectacular views of wild West Coast beaches, all rooms have rainforest and/or ocean views.Walk to the nearby Punakaiki pancake rocks and Punakaiki settlement. Enjoy beach and river walks, guided walks into the Paparoa National Park
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Punakaiki/Greymouth
The Breakers
B&B
One of the most spectacularly located Bed & Breakfast accommodation houses in New Zealand. Featuring 3 rooms and 2 suites, all with ensuite facilities and sea views. A quality dinner is available (with notice) and will include a good New Zealand wine. A private track to the beach allows easy access for guests to look for pounamu (jade) and pretty stones.
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Punakaiki/Westport
Birds Ferry Lodge
B&B
Purpose built on the edge of a glacial terrace, Birds Ferry Lodge overlooks native forest in the valley below and the Tasman Sea beyond. The Lodge is the centre piece of our 33 acre property which you are welcome to explore. On arrival you will enjoy a warm welcome from your hosts, then peace seclusion and relaxation awaits you.
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Activities

Fox Glacier
Fox Guides Fox Glacier hikes

Enjoy a breathtaking guided walk to the Terminal Face or HeliHike on the world famous Fox Glacier with New Zealand's most experienced glacier guiding company; Fox Guides.
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Punakaiki/Westport
Norwest Adventures Underworld Rafting

Enter the enormous Nile River Cave System where you meander through a calcitic paradise of stalactites and stalagmites in the upper dry levels of the cave. Down in the lower active levels of the Cave, you meet up with a slow moving underground river on which you float in your tube using only the natural light of a simply awe inspiring display of glow worms for navigation.
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Punakaiki/Westport
Norwest Adventures Charleston Glow Worm Caves

Explore an ancient wonderland of stalactites, stalagmites in the large dry upper levels and become entranced while under the galaxies of glow-worms in the awe-inspiring Ananui entrance series.
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Holidays

New Zealand
15 day self drive holiday New Zealand North and South Islands

The New Zealand holiday for visitors wanting the get the very most out of their two weeks holiday in New Zealand, great scenic diversity islands, mountains, volcanic wonders, alpine passes, glaciers and fiords, stunning scenic drives. Plus quality time in key city and village locations, culture and adventure. Enjoy activities and experiences to really get an appreciation of the best of New Zealand.
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New Zealand
16 day self drive holiday New Zealand North and South Islands

16 day New Zealand itinerary showcasing the best of scenic diversity and experiences, starts in Auckland and includes Rotorua, the Hawkes Bay wineries, Art Deco Napier, Wellington, cruise between the islands and Abel Tasman National Park before heading down the West Coast via the glaciers to Queenstown, Milford Sound, Mount Cook and finishing in Christchurch. Great scenic diversity islands, mountains, volcanic wonders, alpine passes, glaciers and fiords, stunning scenic drives. Quality time in key city and village locations, culture and adventure. Enjoy activities and experiences to really get an appreciation of the best of New Zealand
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New Zealand
22 day self drive holiday New Zealand North and South Islands

The New Zealand holiday for visitors wanting the get the very most out of their three weeks holiday in New Zealand, great scenic diversity islands, mountains, volcanic wonders, alpine passes, glaciers and fiords, stunning scenic drives. With quality time in key city and village locations, culture and adventure, food and wine. Enjoy activities and experiences to really get an appreciation of the best of New Zealand.
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New Zealand
8 day self drive South Island New Zealand Holiday

The New Zealand South Island holiday for visitors wanting the get the very most out of their short visit to the South Island of New Zealand, great scenic diversity from mountains to sea, stunning scenic drives, plus quality time in key city and village locations. Enjoy activities and experiences to really get an appreciation of some of the best of New Zealand South Island.
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New Zealand
15 day self drive holiday New Zealand - South Island

The New Zealand South Island holiday for visitors wanting the get the very most out of their two week visit to the South Island of New Zealand, great scenic diversity from mountains to sea, stunning scenic drives, plus quality time in key city and village locations. Enjoy activities and experiences to really get an appreciation of some of the best of New Zealand South Island.
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