Discovering New Zealand’s West Coast
There’s no denying the unusually vivid beauty of New Zealand or the many awe-inspiring sights that can be found traveling up and down the coasts on both of the major islands. Whatever part of the country you choose to check out, there is going to be plenty to look at, explore, and experience. For those of you looking at checking out New Zealand’s famed West Coast, after taking care of campervan hire New Zealand visitors would be smart to include these following stops on the short list of places to check out or even camp out at for the full West Coast experience!
Check Out Fox Glacier
Located at the Westland Tai Poutini National Park, Fox Glacier is one of several NZ glaciers that truly stand out as remarkable tributes to the forces of nature that created them. Lined by well-maintained hiking trails allowing visitors to get close to the glacier, as well as being a spot that offers skydiving and other high adrenaline high adventure options, this is an area that blends the best of the natural beauty while also offering a wide array of activities that fit from those who like to kick back and relax to those of you who like the high end adrenaline.
Visit Te Anau
If you’re going to be visiting the West Coast your trip doesn’t only have a beginning, but it also needs a destination to work towards. Te Anau is located near the southern end of the Western Coast and is a small town that is popular with tourists. Known as the gateway to the wilds of Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound, this region’s natural wonders are renowned.
Not only is Lake Te Anau absolutely serene but the area is how to many endangered species including the flightless Takahe birds as well as limestone caves with glow worms. A wide array of hiking trails means you can really explore the area and immerse yourself in your surroundings. A fitting end (or beginning) to any journey up and down the West Coast.
Franz Josef Glacier
Arguably the most famous glacier in all of New Zealand, and there are several truly great ones worth the visit, this Natural Heritage Site stands above them all and is on virtually every good “can’t miss site” list when it comes to travelling through New Zealand. This glacier is located a mere five kilometres from the town Franz Josef and there are hikes that can take you within half a mile of its face, as well as guided tours onto the ice or helicopter tours to spot it from above.
How you see it an experience the surrounding town is your choice, but this is definitely one that should make the list.
Visit the Beaches
The West Coast has a wide variety of beaches ranging from the sandy to the stony, and each one has its own charms that tend to pull in a large number of visitors. In fact, you can quite easily plan your trip up or down the coast as a beach jumping adventure with some stops in between. Flagstaff Beach is at the far north and delivers beautiful white sands that are constantly being moved or shifted due to strong currents.
Punakaiki Beach is a volcanic black sand beach that is just north of the famous Pancake Rocks, and delivers a very different but equally beautiful experience. Hokitika Beach is another great option that is actually quite close to town, and if you visit this beach you are right in the neighbourhood to check out Hokitika Gorge so you mine as well see both exceptional sights!
Finally, Gillespie’s Beach is a remarkable tucked away beach that is also tied to a sombre history of the area and the struggles of early settlers there. A sombre but remarkable place to visit.
Lake Brunner is the largest lake on New Zealand’s Western Coast and offers the full range of lake activities. If you enjoy swimming, fishing, kayaking, boating, or just making camp by a beautiful and scenic lake, then it’s worth getting off the immediate ocean coast and taking a day or two to check out Lake Brunner and all it has to offer.
This lake is considered some of the best trout fishing locations in the entire country, and in addition to that the area is renowned for the incredible diversity of avian life, making it a top spot for bird watchers. After the initial campervan hire New Zealand visitors who plan on spending part of their day on Lake Brunner won’t be disappointed!
Enjoy the Western Coast!
There’s no denying the incredible natural majesty that the Western Coast offers visitors. This is an amazing trip and there are so many great places to explore. After taking care of the campervan hire New Zealand visitors should be excited about the sheer number of awesome possibilities ahead. When you’re planning your holiday, make sure to visit the places that most excite you and give yourself the time to really enjoy everything that the Western Coast has to offer!