New Zeeland-West Coast Route
Isolated but easily accessible west coast of the South Island from New Zealand offers a unique landscape and plenty of outdoor activities. Peaks that reach the clouds of the Southern Alps rises in the east while the way down the west coast of the South Island from right Karamea isolated port towards Jackson Bay.
The mountains that form a natural barrier island along the Tasman Sea lies a narrow strip of land where only 31,000 people live.Because the region is sparsely populated and isolated temperate rainforest,an ecosystem primary from giant conifers, palms and ferns that cover most of the coast lowlands and mountains, is protected. Right from the start, the road offers unique images of the ocean and mountain landscapes crossed by rivers with fast waters and waterfalls.You can occasionally make a stop and stroll the beaches bordered by forests, to bathe in the hot springs, go boating on a lake in middle of the forest or search for gemstones or gold.
The last third of the road is known as Glacier Country .Here,two glaciers,Fox and Franz Josef,made their way through tropical forest reaching above the sea level.Behind this ,Haast Pass offers a change of the landscape:a valley of river surrounded by forests and hosting local species of birds as parrots like Anthormes Melamura or Kiwi birds. West Coast is a paradise of the adventures and outdoor activities.If you like more the silence you can admire waves crashing into the jagged rocks.
Optim period: Peak tourist season, from late October to late April, coinciding with the rainy season on the coast, winter temperatures are generally constants with cold mornings clear sky and snow on mountain peaks.
Travel time:Because of the road,the route of 604 km is hard.You must book at least three days if you drive .If you go to the bus which links coastal settlements ,you must book four days.
To know:This destination is very popular of tourists and if you don’t book the trip before you hardly find accommodation.
Used information: In the last years ,many tourists and craftsmen were atracted to West Coast and were placed roadside art galleries in which they present their work.
Attractions:Visit seal colony from Cape Foulwind,besides Westport.Fly with the helicopter through the mountains and after make a rafting on one of the rivers that descend on coast.Climbing ice tunnels of Franz Josef glacier and admire the reflections of Aoraki, Mount Cook and Mount Tasman in the lake Matheson.