Welcome to The West Coast


Nineteenth-century European settlers in this region faced great hardships as fortunes built on gold, coal and timber wavered. A chain of ghost towns and forlorn pioneer cemeteries were left in their wake, and only the hardiest remained. Present-day Coasters exhibit the same grit, softened with ironic humour and unquestioning hospitality. Time spent in these indomitable communities will have you spinning yarns of the wild West Coast long into the future.


Top experiences in The West Coast

Travel guides

Starting at $32.49

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The West Coast activities

$333.75 Outdoor Activities

Franz Josef Helicopter Flight and Glacier Hike

Choose from four different morning departure times to suit your schedule, then head to the centrally located tour base in Franz Josef to meet your guide. Wrap up against the elements with the protective jacket, trousers, hats, gloves and leather boots provided, and don’t forget to grab your crampons! When you’re fully kitted out, head to your helicopter and start your journey with a short flight up onto the Franz Josef Glacier.Enjoy breathtaking views of the glacier and surrounding area from your vantage point high in the sky, then land gently on the glacier and set off with your guide. An amazing sight to behold, there are forests of ice formations jutting out at different angles from the mighty glacier .Follow your experienced guide through the maze of ice as you explore the magnificent natural landscape. Discover first-hand the dramatic environmental changes that are affecting the glacier and gain insight into the amazing geological forces at play.At the conclusion of your glacier hike, return to Franz Josef by helicopter and relax with a soak in the Glacier Hot Pools. Nestled in a lush rainforest on the edge of town, the hot pools are fed by pure glacier water. Sit back, relax and rejuvenate your muscles in the soothing water — the perfect way to end the day in style!

$326.78 Air, Helicopter & Balloon Tours

Franz Josef 3-Hour Helicopter and Hiking Tour

After meeting your guide and being fitted for all of your provided equipment, your Franz Josef Glacier adventure starts with a thrilling helicopter ride from the helicopter base in town up to the ice. With its ability to hover over stunning landscapes and provide access to remote areas, a helicopter flight is the ultimate way to see the 7.5-mile-long (12 km) glacier at the top of New Zealand's Southern Alps. Soar right by towering peaks, over deep crevasses and past sparkling waterways. Admire the pristine blue color of the ice, and land high up on the glacier between two icefalls, where your 2-hour guided hike begins. Follow your experienced guide into the spectacular icefall terrain, usually seen only by skilled mountaineers. Climb in and around ice caves, see dramatic pinnacles and seracs, and learn about the history and current conditions of the Franz Josef Glacier. Enjoy amazing photo ops of this unique landscape, and then re-board the helicopter for the ride back to town. Safety and helicopters: The local tour operator has an excellent safety record, practices rigid assessments and uses exclusive high-quality equipment. Your safety and enjoyment come first. Aircraft: The fleet of modern Airbus helicopters specifically configured for flying in New Zealand's outstanding National Parks, glaciers, lakes, mountains and valleys. The Helicopter Line has the highest levels of Civil Aviation Authority certification for scenic helicopter operations, this involves regular monitoring and audit of all aspects of the operations.

$243.87 Air, Helicopter & Balloon Tours

Franz Josef and Fox Glacier 30-Minute Helicopter Flight

With its ability to hover, land and provide access to some of New Zealand's most remote areas, a helicopter is the ideal choice for sightseeing that will take you up close to towering peaks, crevasse filled glaciers and sparkling waterways. Learn about the stunning landscape as your professional pilot delivers an informative commentary en route. Aircraft: The fleet of modern Airbus helicopters specifically configured for flying in New Zealand's outstanding National Parks, glaciers, lakes, mountains and valleys. The Helicopter Line has the highest levels of Civil Aviation Authority certification for scenic helicopter operations, this involves regular monitoring and audit of all aspects of the operations.

$55.04 Outdoor Activities

Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

Take a day trip from Franz Josef to experience New Zealand's stunning nature and picturesque views of the Franz Josef Glacier.Once fitted out with all your equipment, take a short bus ride to the outskirts of the glacier. Your guide will take you on a Glacier Valley Walk that will take you up alongside the mighty Waiho River bed following the glaciers path of retreat in this remarkable landscape. You will learn about the glacier's history, see what is left behind by this majestic giant, and learn the legend of Ka Roimata o Hinehukatere. Near the terminal face, you will cross over the public barriers and after a brief climb you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the rapidly changing terminal face of the glacier.

$188.13 Air, Helicopter & Balloon Tours

Franz Josef Neve Discoverer Helicopter Flight

With its ability to hover, land and provide access to some of New Zealand's most remote areas, a helicopter is the ideal choice for sightseeing that will take you up close to towering peaks, crevasse filled glaciers and sparkling waterways. Learn about the stunning landscape as your professional pilot delivers an informative commentary en route. Aircraft: The fleet of modern Airbus helicopters specifically configured for flying in New Zealand's outstanding National Parks, glaciers, lakes, mountains and valleys. The Helicopter Line has the highest levels of Civil Aviation Authority certification for scenic helicopter operations, this involves regular monitoring and audit of all aspects of the operations.

$243.87 Air, Helicopter & Balloon Tours

Fox Glacier and Mount Cook Helicopter Flight

With its ability to hover, land and provide access to some of New Zealand's most remote areas, a helicopter is the ideal choice for sightseeing that will take you up close to towering peaks, crevasse filled glaciers and sparkling waterways. Learn about the stunning landscape as your professional pilot delivers an informative commentary en route. Aircraft: The fleet of modern Airbus helicopters specifically configured for flying in New Zealand's outstanding National Parks, glaciers, lakes, mountains and valleys. The Helicopter Line has the highest levels of Civil Aviation Authority certification for scenic helicopter operations, this involves regular monitoring and audit of all aspects of the operations.