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West Coast Region Major Towns

Greymouth

Greymouth is the largest town on the South Island's West Coast, and is located at the mouth of the Grey River. It was named for Governor George Grey, a key figure in colonial New Zealand. Residents of Greymouth, and the rest of Westland, are known as 'Coasters'.

Charter a fishing boat and head out to the rich fishing grounds of the Tasman Sea. Lake Brunner is a beautiful location to go fly fishing for brown trout.

Haast

There are three small settlements in Haast – Haast Junction, Haast Beach and Haast itself. Each has an uncanny frontier town atmosphere. You can almost sense the way life was back in its halcyon days.

Visit Jackson Bay where you can see fur seals and penguins.
Go sea fishing for blue cod, trumpeter, grouper and shark.

Hokitika

Hokitika was the capital of the West Coast goldfields. Revell Street runs along the foreshore and once had three opera houses and numerous hotels. It was an important trading post, with a port that rivalled Dunedin and Auckland.

You can find expertly crafted pounamu (jade) jewellery for sale.
There are many other craftspeople, including gold jewellers, wood turners and potters.

Reefton

Reefton owes its name to the extensive gold bearing quartz reefs that were discovered in the late 1860s. In August 1888, Reefton turned on electric street lighting before any other town in the southern hemisphere.

Situated in the heart of the Victoria Conservation Park, the area is known for its beautiful beech forests and native bird-life. Much of the character and charm of its historic past has been preserved.

Westport

Situated where the Buller River meets the sea, Westport was first a gold town, and then a coal town. It still operates New Zealand's only bituminous coal mine, but is fast becoming a magnet for adventure tourism. Arts and crafts buffs will also find plenty in this town.

Go jet boating, black-water rafting (underground), caving, or white-water rafting. Visit the local fur seal colony at Cape Foulwind