The West Coast has some of New Zealand’s most rewarding wilderness walks from easy photogenic strolls to spectacular day walks and extraordinary multi-day adventures. Westland Tai Poutini National Park, for example, has around 30 walking tracks and that’s just one of five national parks in the region.
So, pack your trusty boots to make the most of your West Coast holiday. Trails are usually well-formed and signposted, often with local information and points of interest. Take note of any safety instructions.
Nowhere on New Zealand’s West Coast is ever far from mountains, lakes, forests, beaches and fascinating landforms (usually all at once). No matter what part of the Coast you make your way to, there is a choice of easy, short walks leading to a journey of natural discovery. Short walks can be anything from 5 minutes to a couple of hours. Easy means well-formed trails suitable for all the family, and anyone with low to moderate fitness
The West Coast is riddled with great walking tracks and trails revealing countryside that you will never see from the car window. Between the many short walks and multi-day tracks, there is a huge variety of great day walks worth taking the time to include in your West Coast break. Here’s a sample of some of the best day walks to consider including in your holiday itinerary. Most of these walks require a moderate to good level of fitness, and a full day to best enjoy them.
Multi-day hikes — or tramps — are for experienced adventurers wanting to escape the crowds and take on a wilderness challenge. The West Coast is home to two of New Zealand’s most popular Great Walks, the Paparoa Track and the Heaphy Track. These Great Walks are administered by the Department of Conservation (DOC) and walkers will need to pre-book their places and accommodation in the huts and lodges on the tracks. There are five national parks within the West Coast region so there is a good choice of overnight and multi-day tracks and trails aside from the Great Walks. The DOC website has comprehensive details on these hiking and tramping adventures.