What's on offer in the Buller and West Coast Regions of New Zealand

Located on the West side of the South Island of New Zealand, the Buller and West Coast regions are rugged, unspoilt natural landscapes featuring pristine rain forests, tall mountains, the famous Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, Punakaiki Pancake Rocks, wetlands, wild beaches and much more.  This is New Zealand at its best! 

The West Coast remained largely unsettled by Europeans until gold was discovered in the area in 1864.  Soon there were as many as 1800 prospectors working on the coast and the town of Hokitika briefly became the most populated settlement in New Zealand!

Prior to the gold rush, the area was popular with Maori who valued it for its resource of Greenstone (Pounamu).

Today, mining continues in the area, but predominantly for coal.  Coal was discovered near the Buller Rive in the mid 1840's and by the 1880's coal mining became the region's main industry.  One of those mines was the Denniston Mine near Westport which was New Zealand's largest mine and features an incline for transporting coal, which was so steep it was considered the '8th wonder of the world'.  Although no longer operational, people can visit and enjoy various experiences at the mine site.  A number of coal mines still operate in the region today.

Not only is the West Coast noted for its minerals, but agueably even more so for its natural unspoilt beauty and wildlife.  It is the only nesting place in New Zealand for the White Heron (Kotuku) which is the bird featured on New Zealand $2 coins.  

Whether you are looking to just unwind and relax, explore the outdoors or discover the history of the region, The Cape Rocks is a perfect base from which to do it all. 

Below are some links to events and activities on the West Coast: 


West Coast map

If there is anything else you would like to know about West Coast events and activities, please don't hesitate to ask and we would be glad to help you with our local knowledge.