Punakaiki is a small community on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, between Westport and Greymouth. The community lies on the edge of the Paparoa National Park. The Pancake Rocks are a very popular tourist destination at Dolomite Point south of the main village. The Pancake Rocks are a heavily eroded limestone area where the sea bursts through several vertical blowholes during high tides. Together with the 'pancake'-layering of the limestone (created by immense pressure on alternating hard and soft layers of marine creatures and plant sediments), these form the main attraction of the area. The Pancake Rocks are presently explorable by a number of walkways winding through the rock formations, parts of these wheelchair-accessible and others carved into stairways up and down the rock faces. State Highway 6, the only through road on the West Coast, passes through the town.
Upper Moutere, Tasman
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Enjoy spectacular views while walking through estuaries, bogs and also a swamp forest.
The track features remnants of old pack tracks, an old log tramway and whitebaiters huts.
Take your fishing gear to the Wanganui River mouth. It's a great place for whitebaiting, angling and eeling.
The beach and Wanganui River estuary section of track are only suitable within 2 hours of low tide. Check the tide times posted at the start of the walk, as well as the current track conditions and weather forecasts at the Westland Tai Poutini National Park Visitor Centre and i-SITE before starting your trip.
The Hokitika Gorge is 33kms from Hokitika. The vivid turquoise water surrounded by lush native bush is well worth a visit.
It is a short walk from the car park through a mainly rimu and podocarp forest to a viewing platform where the water has to be seen to be believed. An awesome viewing platform is just four minutes from the car park and this part of the track is accessible for wheelchairs. Carry on further to an impressive swing bridge and the granite rocks of the gorge's walls.
For good views further up the gorge, cross the swing bridge and when you come to the end, turn left (straight ahead leads to private farmland). The track continues for another 200m through the bush to another viewing platform with looking out to the gorge upstream of the bridge.
Hokitika is renown as the jade capital of New Zealand. Bonz ‘n Stonz is the only workshop currently running in New Zealand, in which you may carve: jade, bone or shell.
Come in and spend a day, carving a pendant that you design yourself. Steve, your tutor, will guide you through every step of the process. When first starting it is helpful to have a design planned. This can shorten the time needed for the experience.
Designs are drawn on paper before being transferred to the slice of jade, bone or shell.
Enjoy spectacular landscapes and travel historic mining trails, as you relax in one of their fully air-conditioned four-wheel-drive vehicles.
Johnny’s Journey with Outwest, the only company with access to the privately owned valley, will delight and captivate the visitor. Here visitors can meet local legend, and owner Johnny Currie and observe the wild red deer, the pancake rock formations, see the ancient Maori cave and much more.
The Mackley Tour travels up to the Denniston Plateau, through the wild country and then returns to Westport via the scenic Buller Gorge. Be prepared for rugged landscapes and river crossings all in the comfort of one of Outwest’s specially designed vehicles. This trip offers spectacular scenery and rugged terrain featuring fast-flowing rivers, deep gorges and waterfalls. It’s an exciting, full-day journey into genuine wilderness.
The Denniston Tour visits the coal plateau high above the coastal flats. Here underground miners toiled extracting high quality coal and there are many amazing relics from the mining era. Denniston is an area rich in history, unusual landforms and outstanding scenery.
Built in 1876, at the beginning of the Kumara gold rush, the Hotel was the meeting, entertaining and playing place for the miners who had arrived in Kumara, from all around the world. The first owners were Annie and Otto Anderson. Otto was from Scandinavia and Annie from Germany. Prior to the first church being built, confirmations were held in the Hotel. A thirty metre theatre was added and travelling shows would come from England and America to perform. The famous New Zealand poet, Thomas Bracken, was a popular guest performer. Richard John Seddon was often known to take to the stage and sing.
Dancing girls were employed to “dance” with the miners. One of the rooms was sound-proofed, with walls lined with sawdust, which was used when more than dancing was required. When the gold was being struck, the message would be passed down to Annie to get the dancing girls ready, as “the boys were coming to town”.
When current owners Kerrie and Mark Fitzgibbon purchased the hotel in 2010 it was derelict, vandalised and in total disrepair. Two years were spent with local tradesmen working to restore and rebuild the old building, which holds many special memories for Coasters of today.
The Hotel was reopened in November 2012 and was presented with the HANZ Award for Excellence as the Best New/Redeveloped Accommodation Hotel in New Zealand in 2013. The Hotel has since been awarded the HANZ Award for Excellence as New Zealand’s Best Country Hotel in 2014 and again in 2015.
If you are on the West Coast don’t miss the opportunity to stop in for a drink, a meal, or spend the night! The staff will happily show you around and tell the tales of times gone by.
The walls contain many stories.
Nestled in six acres of idyllic native bush, centrally located in the heart of Franz Josef Village, Rainforest Holiday Park offers a range of accommodation options.
On site facilities include Monsoon Bar & Restaurant with great tunes, cozy fireplace, cheap drinks and meal deals, hot bubbling spa pools, sauna, pool tables, BBQ area, internet access, laundry facilities. linen hire, waste station, children's playground and Sky Digital TV. Plus large, modern communal facilities blocks with TV lounge, commercial kitchen, spotless well equipped bathrooms and vending machines.
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With over 30 years of experience in the global travel and tourism industry, you can trust thl to help you achieve an amazing holiday experience.