Carved by the mighty Tasman Sea, the wild and rugged West Coast is stunning! So completely different from its neighbouring regions, this coast offers forests of native Beech and Kahikatea trees, glaciers, granite beaches and remote, small villages.
Most people travel to the West Coast to see the phenomina of glaciers set next to rain forests - a truly remarkable combination. The best way to to view how close the forest is to the glacier and to truly feel the mighty ancient ice is to take a helicopter flight above the glaciers then land high on top of the ice. It is a magical and humbling experience.
But there is more to the West Coast than glaciers; Karamea a remote village in the northern tip of the West Coast, offers unique cave explortion opportuniites. The Punakaiki Rocks north of Greymouth are a must to see at high tide and a jet boat ride or rafting trip on one of the remote rivers allows for a genuine wilderness experience.
If shopping and five star accommodation are a must for you then by pass the West Coast, if rugged and beautiful scenery is a must for you then the West Coast should be a priority on your vacation.