10 Free Things to do on West Coast

Don't be afraid to admit it, we all love free things. There are plenty of free things to do on the West Coast of the Southern Alps, New Zealand to keep you entertained that don't cost the earth and will add to the enjoyment of your stay.

There are also loads of great areas to go FREE goldpanning - hand methods only (pan, pick & shovel & rifflebox 20cm x 1.2m max) These areas include:

Lyell Creek SH 6, Shamrock Creek just north of Charleston, Slab Hut Creek at Reefton, Upper Moonlight Creek, Nelson Valley Creek in the Grey Valley, Waimea Creek at Goldsborough, Jones Creek at Ross & Waiho River at Franz Josef

Below is just our Top 10 picks for free things to do on the West Coast.

  1. Drive the Great Coast Road - Westport to Greymouth (or vice versa) - voted one of the ‘top 10 coastal drives in the world’ by Lonely Planet.
  2. Visit the Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki - see the blowholes at high tide and marvel at the ancient limestone rocks that really do look like pancakes.
  3. Cycle a section of the West Coast Wilderness Trail, an easy 4 day cycle between Greymouth and Ross via Kumara and Hokitika.
  4. Visit the Hokitika Gorge to see unbelievably turquoise water in a silver granite gorge.
  5. Walk the glacial valleys at either Franz Josef or Fox Glacier – two of the most accessible Glaciers in the world.
  6. Take yourself out to the Lakes District and do the swing bridge walk to the Moana Village. Bring your camera for some beautiful photos.
  7. Downhill Mountain Biking: There are lots of stunning trails to take your bike for some spectacular Rides. Try these: The Croesus Track, Rewanui Incline or Power Station Road in Greymouth.
  8. "The View of Views" - Visit Lake Matheson near Fox Glacier for reflections of New Zealand's highest mountains including Mt Cook.
  9. Visit the Bearded Miners in Reefton - unique locals with long beards, tall stories and billy tea.
  10. Stop at the Gates of Haast and the Blue Pools for some of the best photo stops on the West Coast.

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