About The West Coast
Wake up to the West Coast. A land teeming with natural wonders, untamed wilderness, warm welcoming people and more wildlife than you can shake a stick at.
The West Coast landscape
The region reaches from Kahurangi Point in the north to Awarua Point in the south, a distance of 600 km.
The land is very scenic, with wild coastlines, mountains and a very high proportion of native bush, much of it native temperate rain forest. It is the only part of New Zealand where significant tracts of lowland forest remain.
The region has the only New Zealand nesting place of the kotuku (white heron), near Okarito Lagoon.
Climate on the West Coast
Temperatures in lowland areas remain mild throughout the year and the region is not especially windy.
The region has a very high rainfall due to the prevailing northwesterly wind pattern and the location of the Southern Alps, which give rise to heavy orographic precipitation.
Greymouth is home to an interesting meteorogical phenomena; valley fog and katabatic winds. As the land cools overnight, the thin layer of air above it also cools. Cooler air is more dense than warm air, therefore it flows down valleys like a river. This offshore wind at night time is called a katabatic wind. Locals in Greymouth call their katabatic wind the "Greymouth Barber" as they are said to be cold enough to "cut your hair".
Health and safety
New Zealand is generally a very safe place to travel with a relatively low crime rate and a great healthcare system.
The emergency telephone number in New Zealand is 111. It is a free phone call.
- Find out more about health and safety on NewZealand.com
Sandflies are common on the West Coast and are know to leave an irritable bite.
If you’re traveling in New Zealand, check out the Sandfly Map at www.goodbyesandfly.co.nz for up to date information on where sandflies are commonly found.
It's recommended you protect your ankles with socks or bug repellent, wear light coloured clothing and long trousers in areas with sandflies.
The Tiaki Promise
By following the Tiaki Promise you are making a commitment to New Zealand.
While travelling in New Zealand I will:
- Care for land, sea and nature, treading lightly and leaving no trace.
- Travel safely, showing care and consideration for all.
- Respect culture, travelling with an open heart and mind.
New Travel rules for New Zealand
The New Zealand Government has introduced a new travel requirement for some
visitors and transit passengers. It’s called the NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel
Authority) and travellers need to request theirs via the official mobile app or website.
Approval can take up to 72 hours, so get yours before you go.
The NZeTA is required for travel from 1 October 2019.
Visit immigration.govt.nz/nzeta to find out if you need one.