The West Coast landscape
The West Coast region reaches from Kahurangi Point in the north to Awarua Point in the south, a distance of 600 km. This land is very scenic, with wild coastlines, mountains and a very high proportion of native bush, much of it native temperate rain forest. When the mountains began forming millions of years ago they produced precious gold and pounamu (New Zealand Jade) deposits, treasured by Māori and pioneers, giving birth to the Coast’s rich history. Nature also carved dramatic glacial valleys to form two of the world’s most unique and accessible glaciers.
Discovering the treasures of the West Coast can take awhile, be prepared to stay longer!
UNWIND, GET BACK TO REALITY
With scenery so stunning it just takes your breath away!
It won't take long before you pack away that cellphone (unless it has a camera function). The West Coast of the Southern Alps is a truly unique destination. Stretching 600km along the coast from rainforest in the north to glaciers and majestic landscapes in the south the West Coast has many moods. Wild and provocative, calm and majestic. The sunsets have to be seen to be believed. Whether a fiery sun slipping into the Tasman sea from an uninhabited cliff-top, or as you to a beach walk, with a glass of wine and catch of the day fish and chips, you are guaranteed to get that perfect sunset shot. Take the time to enjoy the people you meet along the way – for true hospitality you can't go past a Coaster.
WHERE NATURE HAS RIGHT OF WAY
For about 20 million years, give or take...
Discover an abundance of nature so astounding, it'll leave an impressions for years to come. Discover Nikau palms and semi tropical fruit trees in the north to temperate rainforests in the south. In between are wild coastlines, deserted beaches and dense forests of giant trees, ferns and mosses all waiting to be explored. Share this lush forest with an abundance of bird life. Get up close and personal with kea who make a beeline for your shiniest possessions, weka that take off with your lunch if you turn your back for a second and rare kiwi only the very lucky ever get to see or hear.
With five National Parks, two wilderness areas, two kiwi sanctuaries and a southern landscape so awe inspiring UNESCO, named it a world heritage area, the West Coast is truly nature at its most raw and spectacular. Just you and nature. It’s the holiday you know you’ve been needing for ages.
Explore the untamed natural wilderness with Te Radar
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".
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.