South Island - West Coast & Glaciers

Why you should visit the west coast and glaciers

  • Board the TranzAlpine train in Greymouth for a spectacular journey through epic scenery
  • Take the Grand Traverse scenic flight over Mount Cook and Fox and Franz Josef glaciers
  • Escape the world exploring the wild coastline and native bush around Lake Moeraki, gateway to Mt Aspiring National Park

A little more about the South Islands West Coast 

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 is known for 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 and are home to ancient glaciers, nestled amidst primaeval 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.

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