On the road

Campervan weekend

Great places to park up and enjoy the views

Let nature inspire your weekend escape with spectacular wild landscapes, fresh air activities and the freshest local cuisine. The West Coast has the perfect menu for a get-away-from-it-all short motorhome or campervan break.

No matter whether you arrive over Arthur’s Pass from Christchurch, down through the Haast UNESCO World Heritage Area from Wanaka or via the Buller Gorge from Nelson, there’s an outstanding scenic road trip to start the adventure.

Follow roads less travelled into dramatic and awe-inspiring landscapes, take time out in remote beauty spots to explore the trails and scenic highlights, and park up for the night in a beachside holiday spot or in a DOC-managed scenic gem well away from the crowds.

Tourism West Coast - Haast (14).jpg Tourism West Coast - Haast (14).jpg
Haast World Heritage Area

A hanging lake in a hidden valley of the remote, pristine UNESCO World Heritage Area of Te Wahipounamu South West New Zealand.

Edge of Paradise — Haast, Lake Moeraki, Bruce Bay

When it comes to unspoiled landscapes, it’s hard to go past Haast — and you shouldn’t. Stop off here to discover this precious UNESCO World Heritage Area, Te Wahipounamu South Westland — gateway to wild beaches, wide blue rivers fringed by dense virgin rainforest, amazing wildlife. Watch out for tawaki crested penguins at the beach, alpine kea, forest birds, tiny Hector’s dolphins in the surf – and take care not to disturb them.


Haast River Motels & Holiday Park — motels, powered & non-powered sites

Lake Paringa DOC campsite — non-powered sites, boating, fishing, swimming


The Craypot at Jackson Bay


Coastal walks & wildlife — Ship Creek, Monro Beach

Wilderness hiking — Haast walks

Trout and salmon fishing — Lake Paringa, Lake Moeraki, Bruce Bay

Jet boat river safaris — Haast River, Waiatoto River

Scenic flights — Haast

Fox Glacier Fox Glacier
Fox Glacier

Fox and Franz Glaciers offer the most accessible glacier hiking experiences in the world.

Thrills on ice — Franz and Fox Glaciers

No question, these twin glaciers are a truly unique phenomenon — the only place in the world where ice rivers penetrate into rain forest and culminate just a few kilometres from the coast. If you want to explore this icy landscape, it’s a short, scenic helicopter ride up onto the ice for the heli hike experience of a lifetime. But there are also plenty of other natural highlights, walks and hikes to pull over and discover in glacier country.


Fox Glacier TOP 10 Holiday Park — motels, cabins, powered sites

Franz Josef TOP 10 Holiday Park — motels, cabins, powered sites

Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef — motels, cottages, powered sites


Monsoon Bar & Restaurant at Franz Josef

Betsey Jane Bar & Eatery at Fox Glacier

Lake Matheson Cafe, Fox Glacier


Heli hikes — Fox Glacier Guiding, Franz Josef Guides

Walk, kayak or cruise — Franz Josef Wilderness Tours

Scenic walks and hikes — Franz Josef, Fox Glaciers

Conservation — National Kiwi Centre, Franz Josef

Relax Waiho Hot Tubs, Franz Josef

Okarito Kayaks.jpg Okarito Kayaks.jpg
Okarito Kayaks

Kayaking across Ōkārito Lagoon — a tranquil wetland haven for rare birdlife with a stunning mountain backdrop.

Coastal gems — Ōkārito, Ross

New Zealand’s largest unmodified wetland, Ōkārito Lagoon is a tranquil haven for a huge variety of birdlife including the elusive kotuku white heron and rare rowi kiwi. While the best way to experience the lagoon is in a kayak, there are also some lovely walks leading to stunning coastal and alpine scenery. Further north, the Harihari Coastal Trail is an easy walk in a spectacular landscape or follow the tracks through the old Ross Goldfields.


Ross Beach Top 10 Holiday Park, Ross — beachfront container pods, cabins, powered sites

Otto MacDonalds DOC Campsite, Lake Mapourika — lakeside beauty, non-powered sites

Ōkārito Campground — rustic and friendly, non-powered sites


Cafe at the Red Sheds, Ōkārito (great coffee and baking)


Wildlife encounters — White Heron Sanctuary, Okarito Boat Eco Tours

Kayaking & Boating — Okarito Kayaks

Biking — West Coast Wilderness Trail starts at Ross

Gold panning — Ross Goldfields

Hokitika Fire Station.JPG Hokitika Fire Station.JPG
Hokitika Firestation

Standing out from the crowd! The historic Hokitika Firestation is a boutique accommodation with five stylish apartments in the centre of town.

Get creative — Hokitika

Culture, art, literature, heritage, and a landscape to inspire your own creative juices, the ‘cool little town’ of Hokitika has all the ingredients for a satisfying arty, foodie escape. Start at the beach, a wild rugged beauty spot and home to the annual Driftwood and Sand Festival — along with the iconic Hokitika sign, you may find other fanciful driftwood artworks still on display, then check out the pounamu artist workshops, glassblowing studio and a tasty selection of eateries and bars in town.


Hokitika Holiday Park — cabins, motels, powered sites

Hokitika Kiwi Holiday Park — motels, cabins, powered sites

Goldsborough DOC Campsite — non-powered sites


Fat Pipi Pizza, Hokitika for whitebait pizza

Gatherer Wholefoods, Hokitika for plant-based cuisine

Hokitika Sandwich Company for the best sandwiches


Pounamu / greenstone carvers — Waewae Pounamu

Artist studio — Hokitika Glass Studio

Walking — Hokitika Gorge

Conservation — West Coast Treetops Walkway

Biking — West Coast Wilderness Trail

Wildfoods Festival — next edition March 2024

Lake Matheson - Fox Glacier Lake Matheson - Fox Glacier
Lake Matheson - Fox Glacier

Beautiful on any day and in any season, Lake Matheson is renowned for its picture-postcard alpine reflections.

Lakeside idylls — Lake Brunner/Moana, Lake Kaniere, Lake Mahinapua

Tranquil, mirror lakes are an outstanding feature of the West Coast’s mountains to sea landscape. Beyond Lake Matheson with its famed picture postcard mirror images, there are other lesser known gems that also come with breathtaking alpine reflections, beautiful wilderness trails and lovely lakeside camping spots — DOC’s 11 West Coast wilderness campsites include five perfect lakeside locations. Within easy reach of Greymouth and Hokitika, Lakes Brunner/Moana, Kaniere and Mahinapua offer fishing (trout), boating, easy to moderate walking and biking trails, and glorious night sky viewing.


Lake Brunner Motor Camp — cabins, powered & non-powered sites

Lake Brunner Country Motel & Holiday Park — cabins, cottages, powered & non-powered sites

Hans Bay - Lake Kaniere DOC Campsite — non-powered sites

Lake Mahinapua campsite — non-powered sites

Greymouth Kiwi Holiday Park & Motels — motels, cabins, powered & unpowered sites

Greymouth Seaside TOP 10 Holiday Park — motels, cabins, powered & unpowered sites


Monteith’s Brewery and Cafe, Greymouth

Formerly the Blackball Hilton, Blackball

Theatre Royal Hotel, Kumara

Mitchell’s Restaurant & Bar, Inchbonnie, Lake Brunner