Experts in Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific

West Coast and Glaciers Holidays

The West Coast is an adventurer's dream, from winding rivers, thick rainforest, dramatic glaciers and geographical treasures, the untamed wilderness is your playground waiting to be explored. Follow the West Coast Wilderness Cycle Trail on old tramlines, packhorse tracks and water races through stunning scenery from Greymouth to the gold town of Ross, or discover the natural beauty of the World Heritage Site Haas and marvel at its greenstone waters, spectacular beaches, dunes, lakes and wetlands.

Considered the heart of the West Coast, the historic town of Greymouth boasts plenty to do from sea fishing and rafting to exploring its museums and galleries and doing the Point Elizabeth Walk beginning at Rapahoe Beach. Greymouth is an ideal base for the awe-inspiring glaciers of Fox and Franz Josef and close to the fascinating town of Hokitika.                                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                                               Explore Hokitika's unique history

Located on the West Coast beside the Tasman Sea, Hokitika boasts views of Mount Cook and the Southern Alps. As the gateway to the South Westland World Heritage National Park, this is a great destination to get out and explore the surrounding landscape.

Gold was first discovered in Hokitika in 1860 and the first settlers soon followed.  The area was a significant river port in its time, but sadly many ships came to grief on the notorious ‘Hokitika Bar’ – due to the sandbar that shifts with each tide.  Take a historic walk through the town to see beautiful old buildings and galleries specialising in pounamu jewellery and art works.  Pounamu is greenstone, and the Arahura River, which enters the sea north of Hokitika is a source of this stone.   

If you visit Hokitika at the end of the summer months, you can enjoy the Wildfoods Festival,  which as the name suggests is a celebration of wild foods from the wild West Coast.  This iconic and premier event has become very popular in New Zealand and attracts large numbers each year looking forward to the new wild foods that are introduced at each event.  Are you brave enough to try crocodile bites, chicken feet, grasshoppers, colostrums cheesecake, mountain oysters and stallion protein shots? If this isn’t quite to your taste then there’s always marinated tuna, whitebait patties, smoked high country salmon and an assortment of game meat. 

                                                                                                                                                                 Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers

Travel south from Hokitika and be wowed as the dramatic glaciers of Fox and Franz Josef and see the ever changing colours of the ice caves and pinnacles. These two breathtaking glaciers are unique as their terminal face is low in altitude and easily accessible in comparison to other glaciers around the world. 

Take yourself to new heights on a scenic flight to see the glaciers from a bird's eye view, or embark on a full day hike to get up close and personal to the spectacular crevasses, ice caves and formations. What better to end your glacier adventure than relaxing at Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools? Unwind in the hot pools and enjoy a rejuvinating massage or facial.

For your visit to the glaciers choose to stay in nearby West Coast towns or stay in Franz Josef or Fox Glacier Village. Both towns are in close proximity to stunning natural attractions such as mesmerising waterfalls, shimmering lakes and lush rainforests. Take a kayak tour or rent a paddle board at nearby Lake Mapourika, walk to the glow worm caves just a short stroll from Fox Glaciers' town centre or head to one of the most photographed lakes in New Zealand - Lake Matheson.

What to do in West Coast and Glaciers

Take a look at all the escorted tours and excursions on offer for your next trip to West Coast and Glaciers.

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Places to stay in West Coast and Glaciers

From self-catered apartments to all-inclusive luxury hotels, find the ideal accommodation for your West Coast and Glaciers holiday.

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Recommended experiences

What kind of holiday experiences are you looking for?

Select your travel interests to find the experiences you’ll love. Then add your favourites to your Travel Plan to start building your tailor-made trip.

There are 5 itineraries to choose from below. Use the filters to refine your options.

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APT New Zealand Getaway and East Coast Australia

29 Day Escorted Tour
From £8,549 per person - Save up to £800 per couple

Embark on a trip of a lifetime with APT on this 29 day escorted tour covering all the highlights of both Australia and New Zealand.

Great for
  • Beaches & boats
  • Escorted tours
  • Food & wine
  • Wildlife & nature
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Best of New Zealand

22 Day Self Drive
From £3,999 per adult

New Zealand is the perfect country for a road trip, plus you’ll have the freedom to explore at your own steady pace. This 22-day self drive takes you to all the iconic sights.

Great for
  • Adventure
  • Food & wine
  • Round the world
  • Self-drives
  • Wildlife & nature
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South Island Wanderer

15 Day Suggested Itinerary
From £3,149 per person

Spot whales at Kaikoura, see albatross and yellow eyed penguins on the Otago Peninsula, and taste the award-winning wines of Marlborough on this self drive through the South!

Great for
  • Adventure
  • Food & wine
  • Self-drives
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APT New Zealand Getaway

15 Day Escorted Tour
From £4,199 per person - Saving up to £400 per couple

From Rotorua's steaming geysers on the North Island to Milford Sound's dramatic cliffs on the South Island, this 15 day discovery takes in the must-see destinations.

Great for
  • Adventure
  • Escorted tours
  • Wildlife & nature

Other places to go in South Island

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Marlborough Sounds Picton

Picton and Marlborough Sounds

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Te Anau Fiordland

Te Anau and Fiordland

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Nelson Abel Tasman National Park

Nelson and Abel Tasman National Park

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