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Things to do in

Westland District

Our most recommended things to do in Westland District

Fox Glacier: Up to 3 Hours Hike with Helicopter Transfer

1. Fox Glacier: Up to 3 Hours Hike with Helicopter Transfer

Enjoy a thrilling hiking and helicopter experience on Fox Glacier. Marvel at dramatic landscapes from above, including spectacular ice caves, icefalls and Victoria Falls, which is the melted river from the hidden Victoria glacier. Land on the ice in a remote part of the glacier. Get fitted with crampons that are specially designed for icy conditions. Follow the ice steps cut by your guide as you explore the amazing formations and ice caves. Each departure is a truly unique experience as there are so many changing features. Depending on the weather, spend up to 3 hours on the ice before boarding your helicopter to return to the take off point.

Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers Helicopter Flight & Snow Landing

2. Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers Helicopter Flight & Snow Landing

Explore the ancient icefalls of the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers on a 30-minute helicopter flight. Experience the thrill of a snow landing with spectacular photo opportunities, and create unforgettable memories. Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers provides stunning ice architecture and are two of the few glaciers in the world which exist in such close proximity to both an ocean and a rainforest. Make your way to a central location in Franz Josef township, where you will check in for your flight. Strap yourself in to your seat and prepare for a once-in-a-lifetime ride, soaring above the pristine scenery for spectacular aerial views of the glaciers. Listen to engaging inflight commentary from your experienced pilot and admire the stunning frozen landscape below through the panoramic windows. Midway through the flight, your helicopter hovers above the ice and snow before making a thrilling snow landing at the summit of one of the glaciers. Step out onto the breathtaking, frozen landscape to soak in the views and capture some incredible photos. Then return to the helicopter for the flight back to base.

Queenstown: Spirit of Queenstown Lake Wakatipu Scenic Cruise

3. Queenstown: Spirit of Queenstown Lake Wakatipu Scenic Cruise

Cruise farther and see more on this 1.5-hour Queenstown scenic cruise. Sit back, relax and enjoy spectacular views of the Remarkables, Bob’s Cove, Cecil Peak and Mt. Earnslaw from the comfort of the Spirit of Queenstown – an environmentally friendly and luxurious cruise boat. Take in panoramic views from the open top deck. Enjoy refreshments, snacks and lunch served in the café on board. Cruise across spectacular Lake Wakatipu as you enjoy entertaining commentary provided by the local skipper.

Fox Glacier: Scenic Helicopter Flight with Snow Landing

4. Fox Glacier: Scenic Helicopter Flight with Snow Landing

Journey into the Southern Alps for this once in a lifetime helicopter flight over the Fox Glacier. Begin your adventure at the helicopter base in Fox Glacier Township, where you will be greeted by your expert team. As you take off in your helicopter, be amazed by the panoramic views over the town and surrounding landscapes before heading towards the Fox Glacier. As you draw closer to the picturesque mountains, fly over dramatic ice falls and deep crevasses before you descend for a snow landing. Here you will have an opportunity to take in your surroundings, breathe in the clean alpine air and take photos in this winter wonderland. When you are finished, join your pilot in the return flight back to the Fox Glacier Township.

Franz Josef: Helicopter Trip over Two Glaciers

5. Franz Josef: Helicopter Trip over Two Glaciers

See two of New Zealand’s biggest glaciers — the Franz Josef and Fox or Tasman glaciers with uninterrupted views from a helicopter. Fly amongst the Southern Alps, admiring the ice pinnacles and canyons whilst learning about the awesome spectacle from your professional guide. After you check-in and have a safety briefing, you will be transferred to a private hanger, where you will meet your pilot and guide and board the helicopter. You will be provided headsets in order to hear your guide’s commentary. You will have the opportunity to stop and explore by foot at an elevated snow landing site for 15 minutes, perfect for taking photos.

Hokitika: West Coast Treetop Walkway Entrance Ticket

6. Hokitika: West Coast Treetop Walkway Entrance Ticket

Experience an exhilarating treetop adventure among temperate rainforest giants at the Hokitika West Coast Treetop Walkway. Begin the adventure when you arrive at the Treetops Cafe. Embark on a 5-minute walk through the beautiful Rainforest that will lead you to the start of the treetop walk (a shuttle is available for people with impaired mobility). There is easy access for all to enjoy along a steel platform that is 20 meters high and over 450 meters long. Then, enjoy a 45-minute and 1-hour stroll through the amazing West Coast Rainforest Tree Tops, listening to the birds and taking in incredible views. For the more adventurous travelers, opt to climb up to the top of the Hokitika Tower that will take you 40 meters above the forest floor. Be inspired by the sensational views over majestic snow-capped mountains, ancient rainforest and the Tasman Sea. Finish your experience back at Treetops cafe where they have a variety of delicious refreshments for purchase.

Franz Josef: 3-Hour Kayak Tour on Lake Mapourika

7. Franz Josef: 3-Hour Kayak Tour on Lake Mapourika

Gear up for an incredible, three-hour guided kayaking experience. Begin your adventure by meeting your experienced team at the local partner's office in Franz Josef. Join them and your small group on a complimentary transfer out to Lake Mapourika. Glide effortlessly across the water, taking in panoramic views of the Southern Alps, glaciers, and untouched Jurassic rainforest reflected on the glassy waters of Lake Mapourika. Paddle into the heart of the Okarito Kiwi Bird Sanctuary, exploring the protected area with your knowledgeable guide. Tours depart at various times throughout the day. Mornings are often the calmest time of the day on the lake, a perfect choice for photographers looking to capture the beauty of the area. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and an experience not to be missed during your visit to Franz Josef.

Franz Josef Glacier: 2-Hour Scenic Lake Mapourika Cruise

8. Franz Josef Glacier: 2-Hour Scenic Lake Mapourika Cruise

Soak up panoramic views of the Southern Alps and glaciers reflecting on the mirror-like waters of Lake Mapourika on this 2-hour scenic cruise. The lake was created by the Franz Josef Glacier as it retreated 14,000 years ago and now sits calm and reflective between the Southern Alps and the sea. Meet your experienced skipper and small group at the office in Franz Josef and take a complimentary transfer out to Lake Mapourika. Board the boat, then sit back and relax onboard the Hanna-k in the comfortable enclosed cabin or on the covered back deck. Your skipper will take you through to the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary on the far shorelines of the lake and will help you spot New Zealand's native birds. Enjoy informative commentary and fascinating stories as you cruise past untouched Jurassic rainforest and 900-year-old Kahikatea trees. Sip on a cup of complimentary tea or coffee as you unwind in beautiful Glacier Country, a picture perfect way to escape the crowds and enjoy the West Coast’s scenery.

Franz Josef Glacier: 2.5-Hour Lake Mapourika Cruise and Walk

9. Franz Josef Glacier: 2.5-Hour Lake Mapourika Cruise and Walk

Begin your adventure at the meeting point in Franz Josef to join your small group and transfer out to Lake Mapourika with your guide. Cruise across the lake in the comfort of the boat and enjoy a stunning vista of Southern Alps and glaciers. On a clear day enjoy views as far as Mount Cook.   Sit back as you arrive into the calm estuary of the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary. Your local knowledgeable skipper will provide you with exclusive access and will guide you through a private rainforest trail.   Follow your skipper through the Jurassic rainforest track and get local insight on the region. Spot native birds as you find your way to the scenic lookout, the perfect spot for a cup or tea or coffee made on the spot.

Greymouth: Hokitika Gorge and Tree Top Walkway Half-Day Tour

10. Greymouth: Hokitika Gorge and Tree Top Walkway Half-Day Tour

Enjoy a scenic one-hour drive to Hokitika Gorge and follow the coastline before heading inland through farmland and native bush.  Walk across the swing bridge and spend time enjoying this magical place. With a forty five minute loop walk accessing different view points along the way and access down to the waters edge. Take in its vivid turquoise waters surrounded by lush native bush and see for yourself why it is a key photo stop on the West Coast must-do list.  Explore Tree Top Walkway and experience life with the birds high up in the ancient Rimu and Kamahi tree canopy. Gain easy access to the steel platform, which is 20 meters high and over 450 meters long. Enjoy the magnificent views of the Lake Mahinapua and surrounding mountain ranges. On a fine day as far as Mount Cook can be seen. Cafe on site for refreshments. If you’re a thrill-seeker, feel your heart pump as you climb to the top of Hokitika Tower, which is about 40 meters above the forest floor. Be inspired by a sensational vista of the majestic snow-capped Southern Alps, Lake Mahinapua, and the Tasman Sea.  Travel back to Greymouth to your accommodation or to the TranzAlpine train.

Other Sightseeing Options in Westland District

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What people are saying about Westland District

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 69 reviews

Definitely recommend during winter the mountain views are legit. If you’ve ordered a platter make sure you get a table first otherwise you’ll be eating standing up. Pretty cold up top so wrap up.

Smooth ride on the lake with outdoor options for a better view, and the views of the mountains looking up towards Glenorchy are amazing. Informative but not overdone commentary by the captain.

Very relaxing view but my wife scared in heights haha. Very nice food also that we have enjoyed with the family. Thanks

Easy to find and suitable for all ages, was a wet day for our visit but still quite a wonderful experience.

It was smooth and with great history. The skipper also stopped a few places for photos which was great