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3 hours 20 minutes drive to Greymouth from Christchurch Airport

West Coast

The West Coast is an untamed natural wilderness, with scenery so stunning it takes your breath away and sunsets so impressive even Instagram told us to tone it down.

It takes a while to get around the largest region in New Zealand, but the journey is the best bit, from mountains to stunning coastal scenery. Along your journey you will meet local Coasters, who will welcome you with true Kiwi hospitality.  The West Coast is known to rain a bit at times but we also have more sunshine hours than Auckland. Temperatures are mild in summer and crisp in winter.

Be inspired by the West Coast

  • Explore limestone caves at Oparara Arches in Karamea.
  • Be sprayed by the blow holes at the Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki.
  • Go with a fishing guide to catch a brown trout fish at Lake Brunner, Moana.
  • Take a selfie with the spectacular blue waters at the Hokitika Gorge.
  • Land on a glacier in a helicopter at Franz Josef and Fox Glacier.

West Coast Seasons


Spring - Sept to Nov
90 - 170

Spring can be the wettest time of the year, the best time to see the Pancake Rocks blow
holes in full force. The White Heron is nesting. Taste fresh whitebait at one of the festivals
to celebrate this local delicacy.


Summer - Dec to Feb
120 - 230

January is the hottest month on the West Coast and is the perfect time for enjoying the outdoors - on the water or in the forest wilderness. Take surfing lessons in Westport.
February is the driest month, perfect for a spot of glamping.


Autumn - Mar to May
110 - 200

Autumn can bring varied weather. Visit all-weather attractions like Shantytown Heritage Park and Treetop Walk and Café. The Hokitika Wildfoods Festival is held annually in March, get your costumes on, have a dance and try wild foods like huhu grubs.


Winter - Jun to Aug
70 - 140

Winter brings the most settled weather and is an excellent time for cycling the West
Coast Wilderness Trail. See the Southern Alps in all their snow-capped glory. The Tawaki
penguin begins its breeding season in July.

View the TranzAlpine Journey Itinerary

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