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.
- 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.