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.

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.


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.

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.

Find out more about the Tiaki Promise.

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