Nowhere is the Coast's majesty more evident or more accessible
than at it's heart - the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. Less
than 20kms apart, these two spectacular rivers of ice flow sharply
from the Southern Alps towards the sea, terminating in lush
subtropical rainforest close to the towns that bear their
If the Glaciers provide the initial impetus for an ever-growing
number of tourists from around the World to visit this unique
region, it's the weatherbeaten beaches, the brooding lakes and
wetlands and the pristine forests - all set against the backdrop
New Zealand's highest peaks - that keep them coming back.
Whether its a leisurely stroll around Lake Matheson, a heli-hike
on the glaciers or a leap out of a plane from 5800 metres, all
followed by a long soak in the hot pools, the West Coast has plenty
to put a smile on the face of anyone.