HAAST – GREYMOUTH (Via Fox Glacier and Franz Josef)
Travel distance is approximately 322kms (200 miles).
Allow at least 4.50 hours drive time (not including stops).
What a delightful journey ahead as you discover the rugged West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island! The road between Hokitika and Greymouth provides great views of the wild west coast so make sure you take a detour to the beach and breathe the salt spray air.
Stunning lakes, penguin colonies, salmon farms and glaciers are just a few of the other wonderful scenic sights to be enjoyed on your self-drive discovery.
Allow yourself plenty of time for photo stops!
Some notable stops along the route to Greymouth include:
Only 25 minutes north of Haast on the Glacier Highway, Lake Moeraki is close to remote beaches and surrounded by rainforest. This peaceful forest lake is also good for fishing. Take a 40-minute walk and you’ll find yourself at the penguin colony of Monro Beach.
THE SALMON FARM CAFE
Nested in beautiful native forest with views over Waituna Creek and the spectacular Paringa River Valley is The Salmon Farm Cafe, which specialises in fresh and smoked salmon. Along with enjoying freshly caught and cooked salmon, the licensed cafe also features a variety of home-cooked food. You can also feed the salmon and purchase salmon products.
Located near Fox Glacier, on a calm day this is one photo opportunity you don’t want to miss! Lake Matheson is famous for the truly stunning water reflections offered of New Zealand’s highest peaks – Aoraki (Mount Cook) and Mount Tasman. The dark waters of the lake cause this mirror like reflection. There is also an easy walk that passes over the Clearwater River suspension bridge and goes through to ancient native forest, including towering Rimu and Kahikatea trees and onto a pontoon that extends out onto the lake.
The Fox Glacier township is located on SH 6 and is a fabulous small township offering visitors easy access to Fox Glacier and the surrounding forested area, popular with hikers and trampers. You can enjoy a half day glacier walk on Fox Glacier with Fox Glacier Guiding, or for those more pressed for time, enjoy a scenic helicopter flight over the glacier.
FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER
The Franz Josef Glacier is located in Westland National Park on the West Coast and widely regarded as the gem of New Zealand’s West Coast Glaciers. There are a variety of guided glacier walks and hikes to suit most time frames and fitness levels, however if you are pressed for time you might want to enjoy a heli-hike, where you take a helicopter flight high onto the glacier and get out to enjoy the snow and the breath-taking views!
GLACIER COUNTRY LAKE TOURS
This top class scenic eco tour takes you on a relaxing and informative boat trip across Lake Mapourika, offering water reflections almost as beautiful as those in the world-renowned Lake Matheson. With large viewing windows and covered outdoor viewing platform, there is plenty of opportunities to view the native flora, fauna and bird life while enjoying a complimentary hot drink and light snack as you listen to an engaging commentary as scenic highlights and wildlife are pointed out to you on this 90 minute Lake Tour.
Famous for the Wildfoods Festival, which is held each year on the second Saturday of March, Hokitika also has a great selection of cafes and restaurants as well as a thriving art and craft community.
Lieing beside the Tasman Sea and the Grey River, Greymouth is a port town situated at the mouth of the Grey River and a great place to base yourself for your West Coast adventure.
Greymouth offers a surprisingly diverse range of hotels, motels, luxury lodges, bed & breakfast, holiday parks, campgrounds and backpacker lodgings so you are bound to find something to suit your tastes and budget!
Most major banks are represented in Greymouth and the CBD has over 80 shops and 3 pharmacies plus many major New Zealand chain stores.
There is a good choice of restaurants and cafes in the Greymouth area, from casual pizzeria to pub meals, an Indian restaurant, McDonalds and the ‘best Roast on the Coast’… there is plenty of food choices. The Station House Cafe is offers excellent views and turns from a cafe during the day to an a la carte restaurant in the evening.
Highly recommended Greymouth tourist attractions include…
Shantytown – Widely recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading culture and heritage attractions, visitors can stroll around 30 historic buildings that make up the recreated 19th Century pioneer town which was inspired by the West Coast gold rushes of the 1860s. Highlights include riding the steam train, gold panning, unique bush sawmill experience and having an old time portrait taken.
Cave Rafting – Imagine floating through an underground galaxy world of glow-worms as you river tube through lush rainforest and see if you are brave enough to try a cliff jump (or abseil)!
Monteith’s Brewery Tour – Witness the making of a fine beer in open fermenters by coal-fired boilers, using only the finest ingredients as you listen to the story of the time-honoured tradition that lives on and learn about each beer’s origins and taste profiles at a formal beer tasting.
Greymouth Golf Club – This picturesque course boasts lush green fairways and instead of bunkers has some strategically placed trees! An enjoyable course to play with club and golf carts for hire.
White Water Rafting – Choose from a gentle Grade 2 raft of the rainforest up to the heli rafting option for adrenaline junkies on some extreme grade 5 rapids in the Southern Alps!
Quad Bike Adventure – 4×4 quad bike off-road adventures as well as 2-seater off-road go-karts and 8WD amphibious Argo – all available from On Yer Bike! Venture through masses of their famous mud puddles that resemble small lakes and winding trails through native rainforest on this mud-tastic guided tour.
Trout Fishing – Test your skills against wild brown trout on the shores of Lake Brunner with an experienced fishing guide.
New Zealand Itineraries: South Island Suggested Itineraries
Our modern self-drive travel Itineraries have routes specifically for the North Island as well as the South Island, ranging from 5 to 11 days, plus there are some travel routes that take in both the North and South Island’s. Our range of travel itineraries include information regarding travel distances and time to ensure that you can make the best of your time in New Zealand, no longer how short your visit!
- 5 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Greymouth, Greymouth – Fox Glacier, Franz Josef – Wanaka, Wanaka – Mt Cook and Mt Cook – Christchurch
- 5 Day Itinerary (route 2): Christchurch – Hanmer Springs, Hanmer Springs – St Arnuad, St Arnuad – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch
- 5 Day Itinerary (route 3): Christchurch – Mt Cook, Mt Cook – Queenstown, Queenstown – Dunedin, Dunedin – Oamaru and Oamaru – Christchurch
- 7 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin – Invercargill, Invercargill – Stewart Island, Stewart Island – Te-anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown and Queenstown – Christchurch
- 8 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Greymouth, Greymouth – Fox Glacier, Fox Glacier – Wanaka, Wanaka – Queenstown, Queenstown – Te Anau, Te Anau – Dunedin and Dunedin – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin, Dunedin – Invercragill, Invercargill – Te Anau, Te Anau Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown, Queenstown – Mt Cook, Mt Cook – Lake Tekapo and Lake Tekapo – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary (route 2): Christchurch – Omarama, Omarama – Dunedin, Dunedin, Dunedin – Te Anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown, Queenstown – Haast, Haast – Greymouth and Greymouth – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary (route 3): Christchurch – Hanmer Springs, Hanmer Springs – Greymouth, Greymouth – Nelson, Nelson – Takaka, Takaka – Motueka, Motueka – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch
- 11 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin – Te Anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Milford Sound – Queenstown, Queenstown – Wanaka, Wanaka – Franz Josef, Franz Josef – Greymouth, Greymouth – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch