Hokitika Gorge still gleaming

The Westland District Council has decided to close the Hokitika Gorge lower suspension bridge from 01 October 2023 due to safety risks. Fortunately, the second suspension bridge built in 2020 by Department of Conservation will remain open and can be used to provide access to the opposite side of the river and gorge lookout.

"Most of the world-famous walk, including the recently established upper swing bridge and new wilderness track built by DOC, is open and in pristine shape despite the lower swing bridge being inaccessible from October until work there is complete. The iconic viewing platforms still offer breathtaking panoramas of glacial waters, set against the majestic backdrop of the Southern Alps and expansive South Island farmland." - Department Of Conservation

More information:

21/08/2023 – Westland District Council Media Release

Hokitika Gorge swing bridge


Whitebait season has returned, and Coasters are ready for it!

What is whitebait? Whitebait is a small, immature fish that is generally only two or so inches long. These fish are caught by dedicated whitebaiters who use meshed fishing nets along the coast - typically where rivers meat the sea. The famous “whitebait pattie” is a combination of fresh whitebait fried with egg and served on a toasted slice of bread. Delicious!

Whitebaiting – DOC link

White Heron / Kōtuku Breeding Season

The white heron has always been rare in New Zealand and it has gained almost mythical status. In New Zealand it only breeds near Whataroa, South Westland, between September and January.

During the breeding season time, the birds feed in the large coastal lagoons in the area, particularly the nearby Ōkārito Lagoon. You can visit the only Kotuku nesting site in New Zealand via a guided tour with White Heron Sanctuary Tours in Whataroa. After breeding, the birds disperse widely and may be seen at coastal freshwater wetlands or estuaries throughout the country.

Location: 64 Main Road Whataroa, West Coast, NZ

Contact: Dion

Email: info@whiteherontours.co.nz

Phone: +64 (0)3 753 4120

Website: whiteherontours.co.nz

Courting Kotuku, White Heron



Making a 2,000-kilometre swim from their Sub-Antarctic Convergence summer feeding grounds, the Tawaki (Fiordland Crested Penguins) have once again reached the coastal rainforests of Lake Moeraki on the West Coast for their annual breeding season.

More information:

Full Article

06/08/2023 - RNZ Article

02/08/2023 – NZ Herald Article

Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki – Tawaki Penguin Information

Salmon Fishing Season

Official salmon season begins on October 1st through to March 31st – Experience catching brown trout or salmon fishing on Lake Mapourika’s calm scenic water with Franz Josef Wilderness Tours.

The beauty of Lake Mapourika can be enjoyed by everyone on our comfortable fishing charter boat, which is fully covered for fishing in all weather conditions. Our knowledgeable fishing guide Dale is passionate about fishing and has been trout and salmon fishing in the region for over 15 years.

More information: 04/08/2023 – Franz Josef Wilderness Tours Article

Location: 30 Main Road, Franz Josef Glacier, West Coast, NZ

Contact: Dale and Bronwyn

Email: info@franzjoseftours.co.nz

Phone: +64 (0)3 752 0230

Website: franzjoseftours.co.nz

Franz Josef Wilderness Tours Salmon