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West Coast of the South Island: Things to Do

The most well-known destinations on the West Coast of the South Island are the Fox Glacier and the Franz Josef Glacier. The West Coast is also a great place to head for a truly remote wilderness experience. Below are some highlights of the West Coast. If you’re traveling from Queenstown, Wanaka is a great stop along the way.

Check out our West Coast tours, or contact me to arrange a custom tour to the West Coast with a private guide.


Lake MathesonLake Matheson

An easy 40-minute walk takes you to what is known as New Zealand’s most photographed lake, near Fox Glacier. It’s no wonder as on a still day you can capture the snowy reflection of Mt Cook and surrounding peaks on its dark waters.


Fox Glacier heli hikeFox Glacier Heli Hike

Flying in by helicopter to land on the ice allows you to explore spectacular ice caves and arches in a remote and exceptionally beautiful part of the Fox Glacier. You’ll be equipped with leather boots and fitted with crampons to follow ice steps cut by your specialist glacier guide.


Franz Josef Glacier Guides

Franz Josef Glacier

Experience one of the most spectacular glacier environments available to the general public, perhaps anywhere in the world, at the Franz Josef Glacier. Range of glacier hiking tours available, including heli hikes, to suit all levels of fitness and ability.