Touring routes

The Ultimate West Coast trip

This touring route will take you through the entire West Coast of New Zealand, stopping by some of our famous iconic spots.

6 days
624 mi/1005 km
Best time
All year round

Day 1: TranzAlpine to Greymouth, then drive to Punakaiki

3 hours 59 mins, 288 km

Take the world famous TranzAlpine train from Christchurch to Greymouth. Book your hire car, spend some time enjoying the shops, scenery, coffee and food of Māwhera - the Greymouth District.

Make your way to Lake Brunner that is famous for brown trout that die of old age, great food and accommodation. You could stay up to two days here, book your accommodation in advance

Explore the 30 million year old Pancake Rocks & Blowholes. Walk the Truman Track. Grab a bite at Punakaiki Tavern before calling it a night.

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Day 2: Punakaiki to Karamea

2 hours 18 mins, 152 km

Continue north to Charleston and try cave rafting with Underworld Adventures.

Explore the art deco town of Westport and its estuary.

Make the journey along the winding coastline into Karamea.

Explore the 40 million year-old limestone arches with a guided eco tour in the Oparara Basin.

Jet along the Karamea River in a boat or explore Scott's Beach.

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Day 3: Karamea to Reefton

2 hours 30 mins, 175 km

Take the inland route this time and turn off at Westport to head towards Reefton through the Buller Gorge (SH6, then SH69).

Get to know the local Bearded Miners and learn the gold mining history of Reefton.

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Day 4: Reefton to Hokitika

1 hour 29 mins, 116 km

Continue South to the Cool Little Town of Hokitika. Stroll along the promenade and get a snap with the famous Hokitika beach sign.

Take in the turquoise waters of Hokitika Gorge.

Grab dinner, then head to the free glow Worm Dell.

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Day 5: Hokitika to Fox Glacier

2 hours 10 mins, 157 km

Head south towards Glacier Country.

Stop in Whataroa to explore the White Heron Sanctuary Tour.

Take a scenic flight over Franz Josef Glacier.

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Day 6: Fox Glacier to Haast

1 hour 32 mins, 121 km

Experience the thrill of skydiving with Skydive Fox.

Take an adventure and do a Heli-Hike on Fox Glacier.

Venture south towards Haast, stop in at the Salmon Farm near Lake Paringa for a bit and to feed the salmon.

Jet in to the UNESCO World Heritage area across its waters with Waiatoto River Safari.

Fly above Mt Aspiring National Park with Haast Heliservices to the Hanging Lakes.

Stay the night, continue in the morning through to Wanaka.

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