Top things to do

Top Choice Lake in Hokitika

Lake Kaniere

Lying at the heart of a 7000-hectare scenic reserve, beautiful Lake Kaniere is 8km long, 2km wide, 195m deep, and freezing cold as you'll discover if you swim. You may, however, prefer simply to camp or picnic at Ha…
Top Choice Natural Feature in Punakaiki & Paparoa National Park

Pancake Rocks

Punakaiki's claim to fame is Dolomite Point, where a layering-weathering process called stylobedding has carved the limestone into what looks like piles of thick pancakes. Aim for high tide (tide timetables are post…
Top Choice Museum in Hokitika

Hokitika Museum

Housed in the imposing Carnegie Building (1908), this is an exemplary provincial museum, with intelligently curated exhibitions presented in a clear, modern style. Highlights include the fascinating Whitebait! exhib…
Top Choice Beach in Karamea & Around

Scotts Beach

It's a 45-minute walk each way from Kohaihai over the hill to Scotts Beach – a wild, empty shoreline shrouded in mist, awash in foamy waves, strewn with driftwood and backed by nikau palm forest. Watch and wander in…
Top Choice Pizza in Hokitika

Fat Pipi Pizza

Vegetarians, carnivores and everyone in between will be salivating for the pizza (including a whitebait version) made with love right before your eyes. Lovely cakes, honey buns and Benger juices, too. Best enjoyed i…
Top Choice Modern NZ in Fox Glacier

Matheson Cafe

Next to Lake Matheson, this cafe does everything right: sharp architecture that maximises inspiring mountain views, strong coffee, craft beers and upmarket fare from a smoked-salmon breakfast bagel, to slow-cooked l…
Top Choice Gallery in Greymouth

Left Bank Art Gallery

This 95-year old former bank houses contemporary NZ jade carvings, prints, paintings, photographs and ceramics. The gallery also fosters and supports a wide society of West Coast artists.
Wildlife Reserve in Franz Josef Glacier

West Coast Wildlife Centre

The purpose of this feel-good attraction is breeding two of the world's rarest kiwi – the rowi and the Haast tokoeka. The entry fee is well worthwhile by the time you’ve viewed the conservation, glacier and heritage…
Brewery in Greymouth

Monteith’s Brewing Co

The original Monteith's brewhouse may simply be brand HQ for mainstream product largely brewed elsewhere, but it still delivers heritage in spades through its excellent-value guided tour (25 minutes, includes genero…
Pub Food in Westport & Around

Star Tavern

A motto of 'arrive as strangers, leave as friends' is backed up at this rural tavern handily positioned near Cape Foulwind. It dishes up generously proportioned grub in its old-fashioned dining room, a warm welcome,…