THE HEART OF THE WEST COAST
🚗 self-drive itinerary
🛏️ minimum 2 night stay recommended
🍽️ dining suggestions offered
📅 visit any time of year
Travel to Greymouth, the largest town on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island, home to the turnaround of the Tranz Alpine train journey. Hokitika is a cool beachside town with two nearby trout filled lakes.
Highlights can include:
- at Garth Wilson Jade watch Garth carve, handle special pieces of pounamu (jade, greenstone) each design with its own story
- enjoy excellent views of the blue-green waters of the Hokitika River as it makes its way through the rock sided Hokitika Gorge Scenic Reserve on an easy short walk through west coast native bush 👟📸
- On Yer Bike! Off Road Adventures can't be beaten when it comes to muddy adventures that can cater for any level of experience 🏍️
- free and fun to see, you'll want to visit Hokitika's GlowWorm Dell after dark at the edge of town 👨👩👦👦
- Harihari Coastal Walkway is an easy trail with spectacular views of forest, rivers, mountains and coastline 👟
- audio-visuals at Hokitika Museum tells stories of pounamu, tangata whenua, the gold-rush, whitebaiting and regional heritage
- with wild food like possum pie on the menu and an eclectic mix of cheeky paraphernalia will have you smiling at The Bushman's Centre 🤠
- Hokitika lays claim to Sock World, the world's greatest sock store and the world's only Sock Knitting Machine Museum 🧦
- explore family friendly historic Brunner Mine Site Walk and enjoy fascinating and interactive displays as you go 👟 ⛏️
- tour Monteith's Brewing Company and taste ever changing and innovative brews, crafted in small batches to develop full natural flavours 🍺
- experience life with the birds, high in ancient Rimu and Kamahi trees on the exhilarating West Coast Treetop Walkway 👟🌲
- showcasing the region's best scenery, the West Coast Wilderness Trail is one of New Zealand's most stunning cycling great rides 🚴
- relax to birdsong tranquility, and enjoy freedom kayaking or a cruise on the Eco Adventurer with West Coast Scenic Waterways 🛶
- Shantytown Heritage Park provides a real sense of what it was like to live in New Zealand during the gold-rush of the 1800s 🤠 ⛏️
- nestled in the mountains Lake Kaniere Scenic Reserve is a great fishing spot with the opportunity for fun walks and water sports 👟
- search for a memento at Wilderness Gallery featuring stunning photography complemented by unique handcrafted giftware 🖼️🎨
AT A GLANCE
📍 # of Visitors 4.0
🌦️ Chance of Rain4.5
👨👩👦👦 Family Fun3.5
🍽️ Food + Wine 6.0
🏳️🌈 LGBTQI+ friendly 👍
Note: the highest possible score is an 8.0
🎥video courtesy of West Coast Treetop Walk & Cafe on YouTube
HEART OF THE WEST COAST
Sit back and relax. We've planned it all for you.
Day 1 : Arrive in the Heart of the West Coast
You'll travel to the region, either by car, coach, the Tranz Alpine rail journey from Christchurch City or by flying into Hokitika Airport. Upon arrival into the Heart of the West Coast region you'll check in to your accommodation, settle in and get acquainted with your surroundings for the next 2 nights.
This afternoon be inspired by Garth Wilson Jade and learn more about the meanings behind the different pieces hand made right here as they have been for generations. Explore Shantytown Heritage Park learning about New Zealand of old, and learn what it was like back in the days of the gold rush. Or volunteer to be a taste tester at Monteith's Brewing Company and tour their latest innovative lagers - a perfect way to whet your appetite for a delicious meal tonight.
Day 2 : exploring the land of pounamu
If you’re not lucky enough to be here during the Driftwood Festival or the Wild Foods Festival, take the opportunity to explore Hokitika Gorge Scenic Reserve where a short walk will reward your efforts with an awesome natural environment that will keep your camera busy. Afterwards, take a right turn on your way back to town to Lake Kaniere Scenic Reserve and take the time to walk one of the fantastic nature trails. In summer the water might look inviting enough to cool off with a dip in the lake.
Closer to Hokitika, the West Coast Treetop Walk provides a great vantage point to surround yourself with native trees and birdsong, and a great spot to take in unique views across Lake Mahinapua and across to the picturesque Southern Alps. It’s a place to reflect and enjoy this peaceful special place. Continue your experience with a cruise or a kayak with West Coast Scenic Waterways.
Alternatively, contrast your peaceful morning with the chance to get on an offroad adventure through muddy trails with On Yer Bike! Fun for all ages can be had, on their self-guided drive tours through enchanted forests, through bush and bog or around their epic mud track. Quad bikes are a great option for most, while families can enjoy the experience together on a buggy. If you want to play in the mud, but stay dry and warm, then the hagglund may be the best option for you.
Whatever you've ended up doing with your day, we'll arrange dinner for you to delight in and celebrate your last night in this region at one of our favourite restaurants in the area.
After dark you can venture into the Hokitika GlowWorm Dell, a short walk just off the main road that takes you into a grotto lit up by these creatures – nature at its best, and completely free to experience.
Day 3 : Depart the Heart of the West Coast
On your way out of the region, make time to visit the quirky, and always interesting The Bushman's Centre and if you're brave enough sample some of the wild foods from the menu. Hokitika is also a great spot to pick up a reminder of your New Zealand trip - the Wilderness Gallery is a retail gem, or for those that love their gifts to be a little more practical, visit Sock World and the Sock Knitting Museum, before grabbing a coffee at our favourite cafe and continuing on to your next New Zealand adventure, wherever you want that to be.