The West Coast

Rugged, wild, isolated, untamed – the West Coast of the South Island is an unbridled region of unforgettable beauty.

West Coast Destinations


West Coast


 Accommodation on the West Coast includes a selection of affordable hotels and motels, quirky backpacker hostels, remote eco-lodges and cosy holiday homes or B&Bs.

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 Tourists on Franz Josef Glacier, Westland National Park.  © Tourism West Coast

West Coast


The region includes several national parks, offering visitors opportunities to access spectacular areas of the country. From the glacial south, to palm fringed beaches in the north.

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About the West Coast

Sparsely populated and seemingly a million miles away from civilisation, the West Coast offers some of New Zealand’s most ruggedly beautiful scenery – from dense primeval forests and scarred mining settlements, to glaciers and pounding surf beaches.

The West Coast is split into a number of distinct districts. The Buller District  stretches from stunning coastline through to the inner alpine ranges of the island. At the northern end, nestled between impenetrable forest and the Tasman Sea, is Karamea, entry point to the popular Heaphy Track. Inland, Springs Junction or Reefton are popular pit-stops for coast-to-coast travellers. 

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How do you get to The West Coast?

  • Travel by Plane
    • Air New Zealand offers two flights to the West Coast: Wellington to Westport and Christchurch to Hokitika. Westport and Hokitika Airports also offer a selection of charter and scenic flight services.
  • Travel by Train
    • The world famous TranzAlpine train journey arrives in and departs from Greymouth daily. It travels through Arthur's Pass to Christchurch.
  • Travel by Bus
    • The West Coast is well serviced by many of NZ's bus networks. Bus services connect regularly with most SI destinations. A daily shuttle service transfers travellers between Christchurch and Greymouth.
  • Rent a Vehicle
    • Several major car rental companies have outlets in Greymouth, Hokitika or Westport. To avoid disappointment, these should be booked prior to your arrival if possible.