Mountains

NZ Bush Tip No. 2

Always swim with dolphins in the morning in Kaikoura as this is often the most calm sea condition. A windy day helps for great Albatross viewing.

 
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Westland

This area is unlike any other part of New Zealand, and provides an opportunity to explore one of New Zealand's World Heritage Sites. Here are primeval forests of such vast scope they will hearten anyone who is concerned with worldwide deforestation. You will also experience the thrill of seeing an incredibly ancient landscape nestled in the dramatic Southern Alps. Lakes, rivers, forests and beaches create the sense of an untamed, yet accessible, wilderness.

Must experience:

  • Visit New Zealand's only white heron (kotuku) nesting colony
  • Walk, hike or helihike onto the glaciers
  • Bird watch and absorb yourself on countless walking trails
  • Explore the dense forest, opening out onto rugged beaches, in search of Fiordland crested penguins
  • View some of the world's most dramatic lakes and mountains
  • Walk in the extraordinary nikau palm groves

Facts at a glance

  • While many glaciers worldwide have been retreating, these glaciers still flow almost to sea level, making them unique relics of the last Ice Age.
  • According to Maori legend, Hinehukatere (Avalanche Girl) loved climbing in the mountains and persuaded her lover, Tawe, to climb with her. Tawe fell from the peaks to his death. Hinehukatere was brokenhearted and her many tears froze to form the glacier.
  • In a family of over 1100 species, the nikau palm is the southernmost of the family, only found in NZ and its islands.
  • The western Paparoa Range is considered of international botanical value because of significant plant associations and rare species. It is the southernmost place where tree ferns and palms grow together.

Accommodation

The Wilderness Lodge Moeraki lies in the heart of the South West New Zealand World Heritage Area
The Wilderness Lodge Moeraki lies in the heart of the South West New Zealand World Heritage Area stretching from the Southern Alps down the Moeraki valley and Lake Moeraki to the Tasman Sea.

The lodge's Arthur's Pass Alpine Lodge Room provides the ultimate in comfort and style.
The lodge's Arthur's Pass Alpine Lodge Room provides the ultimate in comfort and style. Opened in 2005, the lodge is nestled into a secluded beech forest clearing with superb mountain, forest and birdlife views.

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