Lake Matheson - Southwestland

New Zealand's West Coast

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The place is breathtaking at times.... the West Coasters are a special breed that will give you the shirt off their back if you needed it!

The West Coast is the wild west in many ways, it has a population of around 34,000 along a long coastal strip on the western side of the Southern Alps so a very low population makes you feel like you are isolated from the rest of the world.

The weather can be a little wild too with storms coming off the Tasman Sea and dumping a lot of rain on the land as it hits the mountains. While it does have a high rainfall, it has a lot of good weather too. There are locations on the West Coast that have an annual rainfall as high as 16 meters but most of the towns hover around 2-3 meters.


West Coast, New Zealand Pool
greymouth - Google News


big-hitters-behind-west-coasts-untamed-natural-wilderness-win - @tourismticker
West Coast marine reserves - DOC
West Coast nabs spot in travel top 10

Recommended Listening

The No Town Project - An exhibition of photographs of abandoned West Coast townships is on display as part of Greymouth's 150th anniversary celebrations.


Much of the West Coast's lowland forest is dominated by massive podocarps like Kahikatea and Rimu.

Pictures tell the story so check these out
Punakaiki beach - West Coast - NZMoana nui - Arthurs PassPaparoa Range


Westcoast Cards - Tom Walter

Flickr Groups

West Coast New Zealand
West Coast NZ Flickr



Elsewhere on the Web

The West Coast’s sesqui
West Coast of the Southern Alps -
Poutini Press
West Coast Tracks and Walks - Department of Conservation -
Wild Food Festivals New Zealand
What are the must-visit places along the West Coast?


Barrytown - Tom Walter


Fox Glacier - Tom Walter


A mayor with a big flood idea
Greymouth - Google Maps
Greymouth - Trip Advisor
Greymouth -
Art in the Park
Pike River mine disaster


West Coast

Here are some great activities on the West Coast, all of which give great consideration to the environment and also focus on interpreting the natural and heritage environment.

If you visit the West Coast you have to try the Treetops walkway
Treetop Walkway Hokitika

Okarito Boat tours
Okarito Nature Tours

Kayaking Okarito Lagoon
Okarito Kiwi Tours

Franz Josef Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier Guides

There are many other locations that are spectacular to visit. If you want some luxury and are interested in the natural world and have it interpreted for you, then you should go to the Wilderness Lodges, in Lake Moeraki and Arthurs Pass. These lodges know how to show you round and are in spectacular locations