The West Coast Glaciers of New Zealand are a must-see destination for any traveler. These natural wonders offer breathtaking views and a unique opportunity to explore the country’s rugged wilderness. Here are some travel tips to help you make the most of your visit to the West Coast Glaciers:
Sights of West Coast glaciers in New Zealand
The West Coast glaciers of New Zealand are a natural wonder that should not be missed by any adventurous traveler. These glaciers are located on the South Island of New Zealand and are some of the most accessible glaciers in the world. The West Coast glaciers offer a range of activities, from glacier hikes to scenic flights, making it the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts. In this article, we will explore the sights of West Coast glaciers in New Zealand.
Franz Josef Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier is one of the most famous glaciers in New Zealand and is located within the Westland Tai Poutini National Park. The glacier is over 12 kilometers long and is surrounded by rainforests and mountain peaks. The best way to experience Franz Josef Glacier is by taking a guided hike. The hikes range in difficulty, from easy to challenging, and offer breathtaking views of the glacier and its surroundings. For a more unique experience, take a helicopter tour to the top of the glacier and explore its crevasses and ice formations.
Fox Glacier is another popular glacier located within the Westland Tai Poutini National Park. It is a 13-kilometer long glacier that descends from the Southern Alps to just 250 meters above sea level. The glacier is surrounded by stunning mountain scenery and rainforests, making it a must-visit destination for nature lovers. Like Franz Josef Glacier, guided hikes are the best way to experience Fox Glacier. The hikes range in difficulty, from easy to advanced, and offer stunning views of the glacier and its surroundings. For a more thrilling experience, take a scenic helicopter ride and land on the glacier for a unique exploration.
Lake Matheson is a picturesque glacier-fed lake located just a short drive from Fox Glacier. The lake is famous for its mirror-like reflection of the surrounding mountains and is a popular spot for photography. The best time to visit Lake Matheson is during sunrise or sunset when the reflections are at their most dramatic. There is a well-maintained walking track around the lake, which takes around 1-2 hours to complete. The track offers stunning views of the Southern Alps and the surrounding rainforest.
Okarito Lagoon is a large coastal lagoon located just a short drive from Franz Josef Glacier. The lagoon is home to a variety of bird species, including the rare white heron, making it a must-visit destination for bird watchers. The lagoon is also a popular spot for kayaking and boating, offering visitors a unique perspective of the surrounding rainforest and mountains.
Hokitika Gorge is a stunning natural wonder located just a short drive from the town of Hokitika. The gorge is famous for its bright turquoise waters and stunning rock formations. There is a well-maintained walking track that takes visitors through the rainforest and over a swing bridge to the gorge. The track is an easy 15-minute walk and offers stunning views of the gorge and its surroundings.
Gillespies Beach is a secluded beach located just a short drive from Fox Glacier. The beach is a popular spot for fishing, surfing, and beachcombing. The beach is also home to a colony of New Zealand fur seals, making it a must-visit destination for wildlife enthusiasts. There is a well-maintained walking track that takes visitors from the car park to the beach, offering stunning views of the Southern Alps and the surrounding rainforest.
The Pancake Rocks
The Pancake Rocks are a unique natural formation located on the West Coast of the South Island. The rocks are layered like pancakes, and the sea has eroded them into stunning shapes and formations. The Pancake Rocks are located within the Paparoa National Park and are easily accessible by a short walk from the car park. The best time to visit the Pancake Rocks is during high tide when the sea crashes into the rocks, creating a dramatic display of water and spray.
Hokitika is a charming town located on the West Coast of the South Island. The town is famous for its arts and crafts scene and is home to a range of galleries and shops selling locally made jewelry, pottery, and glassware. The town is also famous for its wild and rugged beaches, which offer stunning views of the Southern Alps and the Tasman Sea. Hokitika is a great base for exploring the surrounding West Coast glaciers and is a must-visit destination for any traveler to the region.
West Coast Glaciers travel Tips-
Before you set out on your West Coast adventure, it’s important to plan ahead. Research the area and decide which glacier you want to visit. Check weather conditions and book your accommodation well in advance. This will ensure that you have a stress-free and enjoyable trip.
Dress appropriately (West Coast Glaciers travel):
The West Coast Glaciers can be quite chilly, even in the summer. Be sure to bring warm clothing and sturdy hiking boots.
Bring the right gear:
If you plan on hiking on the glaciers, bring crampons, ice axes, and other necessary equipment. These can be rented in town or from guided tour operators.
Bring a camera:
The West Coast glaciers are incredibly photogenic, so be sure to bring a camera. Capture the stunning landscape and the unique ice formations. You’ll want to relive these memories for years to come.
Be prepared for unpredictable weather:
The West Coast can be subject to sudden changes in weather, so be sure to bring rain gear and a waterproof jacket.
Take a guided tour (West Coast Glaciers travel):
Guided tours are a great way to learn about the history and geology of the glaciers. They also provide a safe way to explore the glaciers and ensure that you don’t get lost.
Experience other attractions:
The West Coast is home to many other natural attractions, such as the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Take the time to explore the surrounding area and experience all that the West Coast has to offer.
Respect the environment:
West Coast Glaciers are fragile ecosystems. Be sure to stay on designated trails and avoid damaging the vegetation.
By following these West Coast Glaciers travel tips, you’ll be able to fully enjoy the natural beauty of New Zealand’s West Coast and have a safe and memorable trip.