Known to Ngai Tahu as Te Tai Poutini, the West Coast has a rich history that extends back to the earliest Maori occupation when Pounamu (NZ Greenstone) was discovered and quickly became prized for its hardness and incredible green colour and appearance.
Europeans started arriving en-mass from 1864 with the advent of the West Coast gold rush, centred on the town of Hokitika, which for a time was the most populous settlement in New Zealand. Following on from the gold, and pounamu, was coal, discovered in 1840 and mined continuously right up to the current day, although tourism was slowly overtaking the mining activities up until the Pandemic of the early 2020’s.
Reaching from Kahurangi Point in the North, for over 600km to Awarua Point in the South, the West Coast is long and narrow, sandwiched between the Southern Alps, and the often tempestuous Tasman Sea. The region is one of the most isolated, and sparsely populated, yet spectacular parts of New Zealand’s South Island
The West Coast is one of the few areas in New Zealand that still has large areas of lowland forest. There is also significant tracts of temperate rainforest throughout the coast, thanks to the very high annual rainfall. An extraordinarily rugged coastline is just one of the features that are a standout for visitors, along with some of the West Coast lakes, such as Lake Matheson, one of the most photographed locations in the country
The West Coast is spectacular for its scenic views, and we just love sharing it with our guests, therefore we offer two, nay three! scenic tours through this incredible landscape; with three days, and six days options, and a significant part of our South Island Big Loop Scenic Tour as well.
Each tour departs from and returns to Christchurch city, and provides all the necessities and goodies to make your tour a success.