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 Zealands 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 1860s 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.
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 Zealands 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 Zealands 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.
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.
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
|Te Waonui Forest Retreat|
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.
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.
|Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki|
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,
|Punakaiki Resort 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
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.
|Birds Ferry Lodge|
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.
|Fox Guides Fox Glacier hikes|
Enjoy a breathtaking guided HeliHike on the world famous Fox Glacier with New Zealands most experienced glacier guiding company; Fox Guides.
|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.
|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.
DesigNZ on Travel
85 Phillips Drive
Phone: +64 (07) 577 1434