Day trips on the West Coast

The West Coast is a location of breathtaking untamed beauty, known for its rugged coasts, historic glaciers, and rich native forests. These excellent day tours will show you the best of the West Coast.

Go New Zealand Go New Zealand 1 month ago
Day trips on the West Coast

Punakaiki Pancake Rocks

The pancake rocks at Punakaiki, north of Greymouth, have been carved over millions of years and are a sight to behold at high tide. Before emerging at the edge of the cliffs above the blowholes, a walkway leads you through native forest, flax, and scrub. Watch as water jets shoot up through rocks that look like stacks of huge hotcakes. Horse treks, caving, rafting, and canoeing excursions may all be booked in the Punakaiki village.

Pancake Rocks
Pancake Rocks
Pancake Rocks, New Zealand

Fox & Franz Josef Glacier

Drive down the rugged west coast to glacier country - Franz Josef Glacier is closer to Greymouth, while Fox Glacier is 15 minutes south. These gigantic ice giants flow almost to sea level, and their low elevation makes them some of the world's most accessible destinations. Easy hikes to the cliff walls take you across old valleys. Journeys into the ice are led by professional guides, and flights are weather-dependent.

Franz Josef Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier, West Coast, New Zealand

Lake Brunner

Lake Brunner, located inland from the coast, is the largest lake on the west coast and the most popular angling spot in the area. The lake and its surrounding rivers and streams are home to some of the best brown trout (averaging 1.1kg) in the world; legend has it that "trout die of old age" here. With boats available for lease, fishing is feasible all year and in practically any weather. Swimming, water skiing, jetboating, and even walking or cycling on local trails are all alternatives.

Lake Brunner
Lake Brunner
Lake Brunner, West Coast, New Zealand

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