Explore the most popular trails in West Coast Region with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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West Coast Region, New Zealand Map
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walking
1 day ago

Easy short trail to lookout. Lots of landslides in the area have closed most other trails. Good bet to see the glacier on foot.

Great walk through amazing rainforest and later get a stunning view at Franz Josef glacier - much better than helicopter tours and cheaper ;)
Sometimes it gets very steep but on average the quality of the way is perfectly fine. (Careful can be slippery)

trail running
14 days ago

Lovely walk. Interesting beach. Very well defined and maintained path.

Last bit up Sentinal Rock is well made but a short sharp climb on an otherwise flat track.

It’s a nice little stroll I guess, and worth an hour or two if you’re stopping in Franz Josef, however the glacier is underwhelming to say the least. I know it has shrunk a good deal in the last few decades which is a shame, but it basically just looks like a dirty snowdrift and it’s about a kilometre from the lookout point. This track is hella easy so I have no doubt it is crowded in peak season.

To easy to busy

very nice view at the waterfall lots of beautiful trees Bush track is in good condition for hiking trails

hiking
3 months ago

This is where the hobbits live. Lush and interesting. Such a beautiful climb. 3.5hrs total, with lots of pictures, at a steady pace. I would do this hike a hundred times over.

Easy walk to (near) the base of the glacier. The track is really well maintained and great to walk on. If you're only stopping by in Franz Josef thus is a good little out and back walk to do.

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome track! Took us two hours to reach the end (one way) and it was worth it. The track is not exhausting (I am medium fit) but can be a bit slippery aspecially when you go back down.

Lived in Okarito and couldn’t stop doing this track, absolutely loved it! If you’re into kayaking just as much as walking would also recommend Okarito Kayak Tours while you’re in the region.

pretty lake trail

walking
6 months ago

Short maintained walk to views of ocean, mountains, and a dune lake all in a single panorama view. Nice break from driving.

Great spot, only a short 15-20min walk. The track/carpark are getting a big upgrade this year, the track will soon have two more swingbridges and become an optional hour long loop in addition to the current track.

Well worth the trip if you're fairly fit, the views are stunning and the hut at the top is well maintained by volunteers. Approx 3.5 hours up from the western side. There's another track up/down on the east/southeast side near the main road.

hiking
7 months ago

Lovely short walk on a calm day, great bird wildlife seen around the lake like friendly silvereyes and purple swamphens. Liked the info signs about the trees too! Kiwis keep their tracks so well maintained, it’s incredible!

Harder than the Tongariro Crossing in my opinion as its uphill constantly and quite steep near the top. Coming down wasn't too bad though. Take plenty of water.

The lake is nice but the walk is crowded and nothing special. If you go in the morning then just before you get to the lake there's a great view of Mt Cook and Mt Tasman, I saw the sun glimmering through the crowds and it was incredible.

A really fun and hard trail. We did it up in 2 hours and down in an hour and 15ish. Going up and through all the amazing stairs and bridges and up loads of rocks was so much fun! hard sweaty work but worth it at the view of the top and with the fun going down too. Wear hiking shoes and absolutely BE CAREFUL! It's super slippery in places and weather changed really quickly as we were going down.

Wide trail accommodated a steady stream of visitors w/o delays.

Super quick trail though watch out for the bugs at the end! No need for hiking gear. All in all about 20 Minutes back and forth not including time taken for photos!!

hiking
8 months ago

Incredible view of the glacier. We even saw and heard the ice falling.

If it’s raining it will be slippery and water crossings need care.

An excellent hike with exciting bridge crossings. Worth all of the effort and getting wet if in the rain.

Easy surface and trail through varying vegetation and along river bed with a great though distant view of the glacier.

There was a huge parking lot but was full of cars. Had to wait for parking spots to open before being allowed to drive in and park. Hike started out with a little bit of rain and then it started pouring rain. Gave the hike 5 stars because the trail is well maintained and the description was perfect. The glacier is worth checking out if you have the time and the right weather.

hiking
10 months ago

Expect a strenuous true tramping style track. Lots of wet roots, stones, 4 swing bridges and suspend stairs, the experience and the view are well worth the hard work.

hiking
Thursday, August 17, 2017

A bit more difficult than you might expect for such a tourist-centered spot, but the trail is generally in good condition. Prepare to be crowded by other people in the parking lot and on the trail. The views of both the valley and the glacier are still great despite its recession.

hiking
Thursday, August 17, 2017

It's a busy hike from the parking lot, with many tour buses crowding the spots. Still, the trail is very well maintained for how often it erodes according to the meticulous trail management New Zealand is known for. A worthwhile jaunt on your way along the west coast.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Pretty cool.
Went on a real overcast day, so it was difficult to see the glacier.
One steep incline, we just missed a rock slide by a few hours!

walking
Thursday, July 27, 2017

I visited Fox Glacier in late-January. I was excited to see a glacier up close, but was somewhat disappointed with this stop. Visit this if it's your only chance to see a glacier, but set your expectations accordingly: think touristy stop with only a distant glacier view. I will find a private tour that will actually get me ON the glacier next time. The walk to the viewing area is a bit steep, so those looking for a casual stroll will be surprised by the effort required.

PS - I took a helicopter tour of Franz Josef and Fox glaciers with a tour company on the main drag in Franz Josef. That was PHENOMENAL and worth every penny. The plan was to heli hike, but the weather was too temperamental to permit. We were lucky, though; it was only the second day all season they'd been able to take flight due to weather conditions.

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