This strip of the South Island boasts five of New Zealand’s 14 national parks and is a rugged land of wild beaches, inland snowy peaks, indigenous forests, crystal clear lakes and the glaciers of Fox & Franz Josef.
The small town of Punakaiki, home to the pancake rocks & blowholes - thin, horizontal layers of limestone, formed through a weathering process known as stylobedding. Just south of here is Greymouth from where the Tranzalpine train departs for its journey across the Southern Alps.
Fox and Franz Josef are two small townships just 20 minutes drive apart where you'll find the ancient Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers nestled amidst primeval rainforest. These glaciers are best visited either from the air on a scenic flight or on a heli-hike where you can don your crampons and experience the ice formations up close.