New Zealand
West Coast

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  • Day15

    Journey to Wanaka

    January 4 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

    We stopped a few times on the way to Wanaka, our trip took 4 hours and there’s only one road, which was pretty windy, so was really nice to take a few stops - there was quite a lot to see during the 300 km, including lakes, waterfalls, rivers, beautiful beaches etc.

    We took our first meal break at the beautiful Lake Paringa. The second on the Ship Creek Beach. The third at the Thunder Creek Falls. Then a short break on the Makarora River. We tried to make a lot of breaks 😅

    Bis wir jedoch nach ca. 4 Stunden in Wanaka angekommen sind, haben wir einige Male gehalten. Auf den knapp 300 km gibt es eine Menge zu sehen.

    U.a. Seen, Wasserfälle, Flüsse, schöne Strände usw..

    Kurz und knapp:

    Die erste Essenspause haben wir am Lake Paringa eingelegt.

    Die zweite am Strand von Ship Creek.

    Die dritte an den Thunder Creek Falls.

    Dann noch eine kurze Pause am Makarora River.

    Wie ihr seht, haben wir oft gehalten und dementsprechend eine Menge gegessen 😅
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  • Day91

    Up the West coast

    December 29, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

    Started by packing up and skirting along the lake to Dorothy falls. There had been loads of landslides from the massive rain fall a few weeks ago. DOC has been very quick in restoring everything, but scary to see the amount of water that would have been cascading down the hills.
    The landscape is completely different to central south island, with much more lush vegetation, smaller flat plains with hills that rise steeply from them.

    Our first port of call was Hokitika gorge. 15 min walk to the end and back with nice views over a river. But sandflies everywhere. So annoying.
    Then made our way to the seaside town of Hokitika for some fish and chips and doughnuts. Yum yum.

    Rain coming soon, we headed north towards Pancake rocks. The West coast here looks very similar to the East coast of Taiwan. The pancake rocks were cool with a few blow holes spurting up water.

    Then a bit further north to Cape Foulwind to see some seals. Then inland towards Lyell for our campground for the night.
    We arrived in a gorge. Got setup whilst 100s of sandflies tried to attack. They are just the most annoying things!
    To get away we went for a walk. Through thick, steep sided forest.
    Back to cook up some pasta whilst being attacked further. Rain started at 9.30 so that signalled bed time.
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  • Day14

    Fox Glacier

    January 3 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

    When we arrived in Fox Glacier we immediately went looking for food and found a nice restaurant (we had pizza) 🍕. Tomorrow we want to explore a little in the early morning hours and then continue to Wanaka after breakfast.

    In Fox Glacier angekommen haben wir uns unmittelbar auf Nahrungssuche begeben und sind in einem netten Lokal fündig geworden (es gab Pizza) 🍕. Morgen wollen wir in den frühen Morgenstunden den Ort ein wenig erkunden und fahren dann nach dem Frühstück weiter nach Wanaka.Read more

  • Day15

    Fox Glacier Hike

    January 4 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 10 °C

    Today we did a 2 hour long hike along the Fox River to a viewing platform that gave us a nice view of the Fox Glacier.

    After the hike we got food for the trip in the local supermarket and drove towards Wanaka.

    Heute sind wir in etwa 2 Stunden entlang am Fox River zu einer Aussichtsplattform gewandert, die uns einen tollen Ausblick auf den Fox Gletscher ermöglichte.

    Die Berge auf beiden Seiten geben dem Gletschertal eine besonders gewaltige Dimension.

    Nach der Wanderung haben wir uns im lokalen Supermarkt Lebensmittel für die Fahrt besorgt und sind in Richtung Wanaka gefahren.
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  • Day14

    Hokitika Jade Stone & Maori Tour

    January 3 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    We took a guided tour along the Arahura River this morning. The Maori guide told us the legends and stories of his people “Kati Wae Wae Hapu” and explained the importance of the green stone (jade) for the Maori. Then we went looking at the river for jade by ourselves, found our own piece and made a necklace out of it.
    Rebecca took (typically English) about 10 stones instead of one.

    We also got Maori names. Rebecca is now called Waitaiki and I am Tamaahua from now on. We were also told the story of the names, and the jade stones but it would take too long to write 😅

    Wir haben heute an einer geführten Tour entlang des Arahura Flusses teilgenommen. Der Maori-Führer hat uns dabei Legenden und Geschichten seines Volkes „Kati Wae Wae Hapu“ erzählt und uns erklärt welche Bedeutung der Grünstein (Jade) für die Maori hat(te). Wir haben uns dann selbst am Fluß auf Jade-Suche begeben und jeweils ein eigenes Stück Jade gefunden und daraus Ketten gemacht. Rebecca hat gleich mal (typisch englisch) statt einem ca. 10 Jade Steine mitgenommen.

    Des Weiteren haben wir auch Maori Namen bekommen. Rebecca heißt ab sofort Waitaiki und ich bin von nun an Tamaahua. Dazu wurde uns auch noch die Geschichte zu den Namen erzählt, das würde hier aber den Rahmen sprengen 😅
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  • Day51

    Day 51/72: Glaciers!

    December 17, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    We woke up to a fantastic view from our campervan, had breakfast and got ready for a day of walks. We knew that the area had a plentiful supply of different ones so we got our boots on and headed off.

    Our first walk was to a small lake called Peter's Pool. Here, on a relatively still day, the mountains and glacier reflects in the water creating postcard perfect images. We walked through the forest paths, lush and green, until we came out into the open on the edge of the lake. It was incredible and we stood there open mouthed at the view. It was another beautiful day and the setting couldn't have been better. It was just like you see in photos of New Zealand (believe it or not), awe inspiring.

    We then carried on in the wrong direction, turned around and headed the right way to the Glacier. The walk took us along the valley that the Glacier had previously been. It was barren with slate and boulders stretching far out in all directions until it met the valley sides which turned skywards and turned to mountains. We could see the glacier in the distance and as we walked, there were signs that showed where the glacier had been x number of years ago. It was sad to see the vast rate of depreciation that the glacier has due to climate change. We walked further and further up the valley, and then came to the end about 700m from the terminal end of the glacier. It was impressive, after years of studying them in Geography and finally getting to see one in real life. There was a substantial river flowing from beneath the glacier and it seemed strange that there was any ice on it at all! It appeared smaller than we thought it would be, but years ago you could imagine it carving its way down the mountain side to form the valley we were in, just a shame it has receded so much. We walked back down, baking in the heat but very pleased with the mornings walking efforts.

    We went for some lunch in the town and read a humorous range of reviews from heli hikes in the area. They looked cool, but vastly expensive for what you get! We then moved down the road to the next glacier town, and to a lake called Lake Matheson. This is another postcard perfect image from New Zealand, as the still water on Lake Matheson perfectly reflects Mt Cook and the surrounding hills and trees. It was a lovely walk around the river but sadly the clouds had descended and the wind picked up, but none the less a beautiful lake. The walk was great though with an astonishing array of greens and browns so we had fun taking photos all the way round.

    We then headed for the campsite, and after being allocated a poor spot went back to the lake for a run. It was a lovely run, twisting and turning with obstacles such as trees, tourists, rocks and language barriers as we warned people of our approach for them to turn blankly to us and stand stock still. Ah well, there weren't that many. Great run! We then went back to the campsite, with the promise of rain the next day but luckily we've planned it was a driving day so it shouldn't get in the way too much!
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  • Day48

    Day 48/72: walking, running & surfing

    December 14, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    We woke up early, determined to make up for yesterday's laziness, and headed out for a run on 'foulwind cape'. Surprisingly the weather was beautiful and so hot in the sun, the run had no shelter, and the car park had almost no satellites to start up strava. After the first half mile there was a lookout over a colony of seals, and after that there was a cliff path run up to the lighthouse. We spent a while watching seal puppies playing on the rocks. Male seals can weigh up to 200kg while females tend to weigh around 40kg.

    The run was hard work but we finished it...kind of. And then we rented some surf boards from the former NZ surfing champion, and headed onto the water for the best part of 5 hours. Feeling very much improved, not to mention achey and exhausted, we decided to call it a day surfing wise.

    The sun was still beating down, so we walked back along the walk we had run earlier, and watched the seals playing for a long time.

    A lovely dinner that evening was very much in order, and we had an easy evening after an action packed day.
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  • Day94

    New Zealand forests at its best

    February 8 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌧 13 °C

    There was heavy rain predicted at 8 in the morning, so we woke up before 7 to pack the tent. We had breakfast in the camping hangar and then went to the DOC office around the corner. Our plan was quite ambitious as we wanted to travel the 300km westcoast part up to Kumara today. And along the way, so our hope, do some short walks to stretch our legs and see the landscape. The DOC woman was helpful in telling us where to find the first one of those. Just 16km north we could visit a swamp forest with a 20 minute walk. Once there we first waited a bit until the rain stopped though. Luckily the weather forecast was quite accurate and we didn't see any rain anymore after 11 just as predicted.

    The swamp forest was quite cool. Even more than usual everything is growing on top of each other here, lots of moss everywhere, water on the floor. Very pretty, maybe our favourite forest so far. After a quick and not so spectacular viewpoint stop, we drove straight to Fox. Fox and 30km further Franz Josef are the two towns that are known for their glaciars. Susanne had done a glaciar hike here 10 years ago. Turns out by now those walks are apparently only doable by helicopter transfers. We are not sure why exactly but it might have to do with the shocking retreat. Already back then not comparable in size to some we had seen in Patagonia, a documentation book showed that now there was almost nothing left of the glaciar tongue in the valley. We got a bit sad and decided to skip this area. Instead we opted for lunch with a nice lake view and no sandflies. We were prepared for the worst, as we were finally at the West Coast, their homeland. But they were not home apparently. Lucky us!

    Along the way we also saw some damaged road parts with landslides and construction workers. Later on we had two more nice but not too special forest walks at lake Mahinapua and Mananui Bush. In Hokitika we got some delicious burger takeaways and then drove further to Kumara, where we camped at the Greenstone Retreat. Funny to imagine a town called Sükattoffel or zoete aardappel. The place was cute but maybe a little too hippie and alternative for us.
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  • Day164

    Franz Josef Gletscher

    January 27 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌧 14 °C

    Nach zwei wunderschönen Tagen in Wanaka ging es weiter zum Franz Josef Gletscher. Als wir am frühen Morgen über den Haast-Pass in Richtung Westküste fuhren, staunten wir nicht schlecht als es anfing zu regnen. Solch eine Witterung waren wir uns nicht gewohnt. Es war der erste Niederschlag, seit wir in Neuseeland ankamen. Dies spielte für uns an diesem Tag jedoch keine grosse Rolle, da wir sowieso fast den ganzen Tag reisten.
    Wir hatten 3-4 Stopps auf unserer Fahrt zum Gletscher eingeplant. Der Erste, die Blue Pools, fielen ins Wasser. Der zweite Stopp waren die Thunder Creek Falls. War nett kurz die Beine zu vertreten, aber der Wasserfall ansich war nichts besonderes. Bei der South Westland Salmon Lachszucht gabs ein Kaffee und das Abendessen für die nächsten zwei Abende, ein Lachsmousse und ein geräuchertes Fillet für auf den Grill.
    Eigentlich hatten wir beim Fox-Gletscher den letzten Stopp eingeplant gehabt und wollten dort eine Wanderung machen. Da es immer noch regnete, fuhren wir direkt weiter zum Franz Josef Gletscher. Unser Camping lag direkt gegenüber einem Thermalbad, wo wir in auf 36 - 40 Grad aufgeheizten Pools den Nachmittag ausklingen liessen.

    Am nächsten Morgen hatten wir das Wetter wieder auf unsere Seite und konnten den Franz Josef Glacier Walk bestreiten. Die rund einstündige Wanderung führt am Gletscherfluss entlang bis kurz vor die Gletscherzunge. Ihr fragt euch jetzt sicherlich ob wir das auch nicht in der Schweiz hätten machen können. Das Spezielle am Ganzen ist, dass der Gletscher auf einer Meereshöhe von 400m liegt und dies in einem dschungelartigen Gebirge. Der Ausblick auf den Gletscher hat sich für uns sicherlich gelohnt.
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  • Day102

    West Coast baby

    December 20, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌧 13 °C

    On a rejoint Gaëlle et Grégoire (des amis d'amis donc nos amis :) ) pendant 48 heures pour faire un bout de la West Coast ensemble, c'était vraiment trop bien on s'est bien marré et c'était chouette de pouvoir partager avec d'autres gens ce qu'on vit!
    Il s'avère qu'on avait exactement le même van, parmi les milliers de possibilités de van qu'il y avait on a choisit le même van de la même compagnie! Improbable.

    Ensemble on n'a pas fait des trucs foufou, la West Coast est un peu le passage obligé entre le Nord avec le parc d'Abel Tasman et le sud avec la région des glaciers et des fjords. On a fait une balade à flanc de falaises près d'un observatoire à phoques (on en a vu...3...) Et on est allé voir les "Pancake Rocks" qui sont des rochers battus par la mer qui ont pris une forme de pancake empilés. On ne sait pas trop le pourquoi du comment ils sont comme ça mais c'est assez étonnant.

    Après avoir quitté Gaëlle et Grégoire qui repartaient vers Christchurch on est descendus le long de la côte plus bas jusqu'au Glacier Franz Joseph qui est assez beau mais qui diminue à vue d'œil c'est assez triste, tout au long de la balade, qu'on a faite sous la flotte, ils ont installés des panneaux pour indiquer jusqu'où allait le glacier par le passé, autant dire beaucoup beaucoup plus loin qu'aujourd'hui avec une belle accélération ces dernières années. Prends ça Trump.

    Bref ce qui était vraiment cool sur la West Coast c'est qu'on s'est fait des nouveaux copains!!

    On est route vers Wanaka plus au Sud pour faire des belles rando, on vous embrasse !
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You might also know this place by the following names:

West Coast, Уест Коуст, Okcidentmarborda Regiono, West Coast eskualdea, החוף המערבי, ウェスト・コースト地方, უესტ-კოსტის რეგიონი, 웨스트코스트 지방, Te Tai-poutini, Wilayah Pantai Barat, West Coast på New Zealand, Costa Oeste, Уэст-Кост, 西岸大区

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