Touring routes

West Coast Eco Tour

Enjoy the West Coast with a sustainable, eco-friendly approach.

Category
Self-drive
Duration
6 days
Distance
637 mi/1026 km
Best time
All year round

Day 1: Christchurch to Maruia

2 hours 56 mins, 227 km

Drive through to Maruia via State Highway 7.

Once you arrive at Maruia Hot Springs, relax and unwind in one of their three natural mineral hot pools. Go for a short walk or hike in the area, enjoy the tranquility or opt in for one of their Wellness Retreats.

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Day 2: Maruia to Karamea

3 hours 51 mins, 260 km

Escape the hustle and bustle by heading to Karamea via State Highway 67.

Make a stop along the way at Buller Gorge to take in its stunning views or walk the heights of New Zealand's longest swingbridge.

Don't forget to explore Cape Foulwind Walkway and Denniston Plateau.

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Day 3: Karamea to Oparara Arches to Punakaiki

2 hours 18 mins, 152 km

Start your morning with The Oparara Experience in Karamea. Take in the 40-million year old arches and the untouched Oparara Basin.

Head back towards Westport on State Highway 6 and stop in at Charleston for a Glow Worm tour

End the day in Punakaiki with a sunset view over Pancake Rocks & Blowholes.

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Day 4: Punakaiki to Ross

1 hour 28 mins, 110 km

Head south on State Highway 6 towards Hokitika. Carve your own jade necklace at Bonz N Stonz or experience a cultural tour with Arahura Greenstone Tours

If you choose to do a tour with Hokitika Scenic Tours, you can plant a native tree. Choose from Kahikatea, Manuka, Totara, NZ Flax (Harakeke), Wineberry. Add the Gift of Giving back tour option to your tours and help us in looking after our native forest and wildlife.

Walk 20 metres high amongst the trees at Treetop Walk & Cafe, or sail the waters of Lake Mahinapua at sunset with West Coast Scenic Waterways.

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Day 5: Hokitika to Fox Glacier

2 hours 10 mins, 157 km

Make your way south to Fox Glacier on State Highway 6. If it's the season for it, stop in at Whataroa for a White Heron Sanctuary Tour

This is is the only nesting site for White Heron (Kotuku) in New Zealand.

Stop in at West Coast Wildlife Centre to find out more about their Kiwi Breeding Programme.

You could even jump out of a plane with Skydive Franz or Fox, where nobody jumps higher!

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Day 6: Fox Glacier to Haast

1 hour 32 mins, 121 km

From Mahitahi you can choose to spend another night on the West Coast at Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki

In Spring and Summer they are home to the Tawaki Penguin and offer guided penguin tours. There are also plenty of walks in the area as well as kayak options.

If you must make hast, make sure you stop along Haast Pass for their lovely short walks, waterfalls and blue pools on your way to Wanaka.

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