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UNESCO World Heritage Area




On the edge of an untamed true wilderness, Haast is the last visible human imprint on the vast UNESCO-acclaimed World Heritage Area of Te Wāhipounamu South West New Zealand.

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Haast — a remote and spectacular lost world — has earned the status of UNESCO World Heritage Area.

Getting to Haast

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Awarua Haast Visitor Centre

Address: Haast Junction, Cnr SH6 & Jackson Bay Rd, Haast

Open: Nov - Mar, 9am - 6pm; Apr-Oct, 9am-4.30pm.

Contact: +64 3 750 0809 /

Awarua Haast Visitor Centre

Haast Valley
Haast Valley Haast Valley
Haast Valley

The wild blue glacial waters of the Haast River, originating in the Southern Alps, flow through the Haast Valley to meet the Tasman Sea.


South from the famous glacier towns to Haast and on to the end of the road at Jackson Bay, there are spectacular beaches, dunes, lakes and wetlands, always with the soaring backdrop of the Southern Alps — an outdoor enthusiast's playground.

Jet boat the wild blue Waiatoto and Haast rivers into world heritage wilderness, take a breath-taking scenic flight over the alpine wilderness, or lift off in a helicopter and land beside a sublime hanging lake. Walk or mountain bike the trails or spot rare wildlife on remote beaches.

The Haast region is a renowned hunting and fishing destination for experienced outdoors enthusiasts, commercial hunters and fishing fleets. The river mouths around Haast are popular local whitebaiting haunts in season, and helicopter operators offer year-round fishing and hunting charter services.

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Waiatoto River

The Waiatoto River is a natural highway into the remote World Heritage wilderness of Te Wāhipounamu South West New Zealand.


Journey into true wilderness on a jet boat eco safari along the Haast or Waiatoto rivers. Follow the natural highway from the ocean into the mountains on a gentle immersive scenic adventure. Impossibly wild and beautiful.

For a truly unforgettable introduction to these exceptional landscapes, take a scenic helicopter flight. Lift off from Haast, fly into the mountains and land beside a pristine lake in a hidden glacial valley or on a deserted wild beach.  

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Jackson Bay

Jackson Bay, a tiny fishing village at the end of the road from Haast, is the perfect setting for fish and chips beside the beach.


Follow the coastal road south from Haast to Jackson Bay, a tiny fishing village at the end of the road. The picturesque 32 km drive is one of the West Coast’s best secrets — stunning beaches, wetlands and rivers lined with whitebaiting stands.  

Jackson Bay is a working fishing port with an iconic wharf stretching out into the West Coast’s only natural deep-water port. There’s great fishing here and The Craypot — a little food truck beside the beach — serves up fresh fish and chips.

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Ship Creek

Walk to a dune lake or through a kahikatea swamp forest on two short, interesting walks at Ship Creek, near Haast.


Stop off on the beautiful coastal drive between Fox Glacier and Haast to discover many lovely walks.

  • Bruce Bay: Enjoy the view of the crashing Tasman Sea and admire the many rock sculptures built by other visitors.
  • Monro Beach: Look out for the world’s rarest penguin, the tawaki Fiordland crested penguin — most likely sighted between August to November,  late afternoon or early morning. 
  • Knights Point: A prominent lookout with expansive coastal views. 
  • Ship Creek:  An excellent viewing tower for watching seabirds, and two trails — a boardwalk through a kahikatea swamp forest, and a beach trail to a small dune lake.
  • The Copland Track: South of Fox, the Copland Track is a 17-km, 7-hour (one-way) tramp, a gradual climb with waterfalls, suspension bridges and fantastic views to Welcome Flat Hut and natural hot springs.
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Thunder Creek Falls

Thunder Creek Falls, beside the Haast Highway, crashes 28 m down a sheer rock face into a deep pool beneath.


Whether arriving or leaving across the mountains, the Haast Highway is a stunning scenic drive as it winds its way down from (or up to) Haast Pass — at 563 m above sea level the lowest crossing point over the Southern Alps. 

Along the way, there are some great little spots to take a break with short walks to impressive natural features — waterfalls, gorges and forest tracks. Visit Thunder Creek, Fantail and Roaring Billy Falls, the Gates of Haast and the famous Blue Pools near the top.