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New Zealand

Westland District

Where Wilderness and Adventure Collide



In the heart of New Zealand's wild West Coast, where the Southern Alps meet the thundering Tasman Sea, lies the Westland District - a vast and varied region that is the very definition of untamed wilderness. This is a place where nature rules supreme, inviting adventurers and explorers to step into a world of rugged coastlines, ancient glaciers, and lush rainforests.

The Westland District is a land of contrasts, where the icy peaks of the Southern Alps give way to the temperate rainforests of the coast. It's a place where mighty rivers carve their way through deep gorges, and where the crashing waves of the Tasman Sea sculpt the rugged shoreline. This raw and untamed landscape is a testament to the power and resilience of the natural world, and a playground for those seeking adventure and discovery.

One of the most iconic features of the Westland District is its glaciers, ancient rivers of ice that have shaped the landscape over millions of years. The Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, located in the heart of the district, are two of the most accessible glaciers in the world, offering visitors a chance to experience the majesty and power of these frozen giants up close. Guided tours, heli-hikes, and ice climbing expeditions are just a few of the ways to explore these incredible natural wonders.

But the Westland District is more than just its glaciers. The region is also home to some of the most spectacular coastline in New Zealand, with rugged cliffs, windswept beaches, and hidden coves waiting to be discovered. The West Coast Wilderness Trail, a multi-day cycling route that winds its way along the coast, offers a chance to immerse oneself in the wild beauty of the region, from the pancake rocks of Punakaiki to the lush rainforests of the Mahinapua Scenic Reserve.

For those seeking a more adrenaline-fueled adventure, the Westland District offers a range of thrilling outdoor pursuits. The region's fast-flowing rivers and streams are a mecca for white-water enthusiasts, with rapids ranging from gentle Class II to heart-pumping Class V. The rugged terrain of the Southern Alps is a paradise for hikers and mountaineers, with challenging multi-day treks like the Copland Track and the Douglas Range Circuit offering a chance to test one's limits in some of the most spectacular alpine landscapes in the world.

But the Westland District is not all about extreme adventure. The region is also home to some of the most tranquil and peaceful landscapes in New Zealand, from the serene waters of Lake Matheson to the lush rainforests of the Okarito Lagoon. These unspoiled natural havens offer a chance to unplug from the modern world and reconnect with the beauty and simplicity of the great outdoors.

As the sun sets over the Westland District, visitors can retire to one of the region's many charming towns and villages, each with its own unique character and attractions. Hokitika, the largest town in the district, is a creative hub known for its thriving arts scene and its famous Wild Foods Festival, while the sleepy village of Okarito offers a chance to experience the laid-back rhythms of West Coast life.

The Westland District is a region that invites exploration and discovery, a place where the wilderness reigns supreme and adventure awaits around every bend in the road. It's a destination that will leave you in awe of the raw power and beauty of the natural world, and with memories that will last a lifetime. So if you're ready to step off the beaten path and into a world of untamed wilderness, look no further than the Westland District - a true gem of New Zealand's wild West Coast.

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