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Things to do in

Westland District

Our most recommended things to do in Westland District

Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers Helicopter Flight & Snow Landing

1. Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers Helicopter Flight & Snow Landing

Explore the ancient icefalls of the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers on a 30-minute helicopter flight. Experience the thrill of a snow landing with spectacular photo opportunities, and create unforgettable memories. Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers provides stunning ice architecture and are two of the few glaciers in the world which exist in such close proximity to both an ocean and a rainforest. Make your way to a central location in Franz Josef township, where you will check in for your flight. Strap yourself in to your seat and prepare for a once-in-a-lifetime ride, soaring above the pristine scenery for spectacular aerial views of the glaciers. Listen to engaging inflight commentary from your experienced pilot and admire the stunning frozen landscape below through the panoramic windows. Midway through the flight, your helicopter hovers above the ice and snow before making a thrilling snow landing at the summit of one of the glaciers. Step out onto the breathtaking, frozen landscape to soak in the views and capture some incredible photos. Then return to the helicopter for the flight back to base.

Queenstown: Spirit of Queenstown Lake Wakatipu Scenic Cruise

2. Queenstown: Spirit of Queenstown Lake Wakatipu Scenic Cruise

Cruise farther and see more on this 1.5-hour Queenstown scenic cruise. Sit back, relax and enjoy spectacular views of the Remarkables, Bob’s Cove, Cecil Peak and Mt. Earnslaw from the comfort of the Spirit of Queenstown – an environmentally friendly and luxurious cruise boat. Take in panoramic views from the open top deck. Enjoy refreshments, snacks and lunch served in the café on board. Cruise across spectacular Lake Wakatipu as you enjoy entertaining commentary provided by the local skipper.

Hokitika: West Coast Treetop Walkway Entrance Ticket

3. Hokitika: West Coast Treetop Walkway Entrance Ticket

Experience an exhilarating treetop adventure among temperate rainforest giants at the Hokitika West Coast Treetop Walkway. Begin the adventure when you arrive at the Treetops Cafe. Embark on a 5-minute walk through the beautiful Rainforest that will lead you to the start of the treetop walk (a shuttle is available for people with impaired mobility). There is easy access for all to enjoy along a steel platform that is 20 meters high and over 450 meters long. Then, enjoy a 45-minute and 1-hour stroll through the amazing West Coast Rainforest Tree Tops, listening to the birds and taking in incredible views. For the more adventurous travelers, opt to climb up to the top of the Hokitika Tower that will take you 40 meters above the forest floor. Be inspired by the sensational views over majestic snow-capped mountains, ancient rainforest and the Tasman Sea. Finish your experience back at Treetops cafe where they have a variety of delicious refreshments for purchase.

Fox Glacier: Scenic Helicopter Flight with Snow Landing

4. Fox Glacier: Scenic Helicopter Flight with Snow Landing

Journey into the Southern Alps for this once in a lifetime helicopter flight over the Fox Glacier. Begin your adventure at the helicopter base in Fox Glacier Township, where you will be greeted by your expert team. As you take off in your helicopter, be amazed by the panoramic views over the town and surrounding landscapes before heading towards the Fox Glacier. As you draw closer to the picturesque mountains, fly over dramatic ice falls and deep crevasses before you descend for a snow landing. Here you will have an opportunity to take in your surroundings, breathe in the clean alpine air and take photos in this winter wonderland. When you are finished, join your pilot in the return flight back to the Fox Glacier Township.

Franz Josef: Helicopter Trip over Two Glaciers

5. Franz Josef: Helicopter Trip over Two Glaciers

See two of New Zealand’s biggest glaciers — the Franz Josef and Fox or Tasman glaciers with uninterrupted views from a helicopter. Fly amongst the Southern Alps, admiring the ice pinnacles and canyons whilst learning about the awesome spectacle from your professional guide. After you check-in and have a safety briefing, you will be transferred to a private hanger, where you will meet your pilot and guide and board the helicopter. You will be provided headsets in order to hear your guide’s commentary. You will have the opportunity to stop and explore by foot at an elevated snow landing site for 15 minutes, perfect for taking photos.

Franz Josef Glacier: 2-Hour Scenic Lake Mapourika Cruise

6. Franz Josef Glacier: 2-Hour Scenic Lake Mapourika Cruise

Soak up panoramic views of the Southern Alps and glaciers reflecting on the mirror-like waters of Lake Mapourika on this 2-hour scenic cruise. The lake was created by the Franz Josef Glacier as it retreated 14,000 years ago and now sits calm and reflective between the Southern Alps and the sea. Meet your experienced skipper and small group at the office in Franz Josef and take a complimentary transfer out to Lake Mapourika. Board the boat, then sit back and relax onboard the Hanna-k in the comfortable enclosed cabin or on the covered back deck. Your skipper will take you through to the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary on the far shorelines of the lake and will help you spot New Zealand's native birds. Enjoy informative commentary and fascinating stories as you cruise past untouched Jurassic rainforest and 900-year-old Kahikatea trees. Sip on a cup of complimentary tea or coffee as you unwind in beautiful Glacier Country, a picture perfect way to escape the crowds and enjoy the West Coast’s scenery.

Franz Josef: 3-Hour Kayak Tour on Lake Mapourika

7. Franz Josef: 3-Hour Kayak Tour on Lake Mapourika

Gear up for an incredible, three-hour guided kayaking experience. Begin your adventure by meeting your experienced team at the local partner's office in Franz Josef. Join them and your small group on a complimentary transfer out to Lake Mapourika. Glide effortlessly across the water, taking in panoramic views of the Southern Alps, glaciers, and untouched Jurassic rainforest reflected on the glassy waters of Lake Mapourika. Paddle into the heart of the Okarito Kiwi Bird Sanctuary, exploring the protected area with your knowledgeable guide. Tours depart at various times throughout the day. Mornings are often the calmest time of the day on the lake, a perfect choice for photographers looking to capture the beauty of the area. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and an experience not to be missed during your visit to Franz Josef.

Greymouth: Hokitika Gorge and Tree Top Walkway Half-Day Tour

8. Greymouth: Hokitika Gorge and Tree Top Walkway Half-Day Tour

Enjoy a scenic one-hour drive to Hokitika Gorge and follow the coastline before heading inland through farmland and native bush.  Walk across the swing bridge and spend time enjoying this magical place. With a forty five minute loop walk accessing different view points along the way and access down to the waters edge. Take in its vivid turquoise waters surrounded by lush native bush and see for yourself why it is a key photo stop on the West Coast must-do list.  Explore Tree Top Walkway and experience life with the birds high up in the ancient Rimu and Kamahi tree canopy. Gain easy access to the steel platform, which is 20 meters high and over 450 meters long. Enjoy the magnificent views of the Lake Mahinapua and surrounding mountain ranges. On a fine day as far as Mount Cook can be seen. Cafe on site for refreshments. If you’re a thrill-seeker, feel your heart pump as you climb to the top of Hokitika Tower, which is about 40 meters above the forest floor. Be inspired by a sensational vista of the majestic snow-capped Southern Alps, Lake Mahinapua, and the Tasman Sea.  Travel back to Greymouth to your accommodation or to the TranzAlpine train.

Franz Josef Glacier: 2.5-Hour Lake Mapourika Cruise and Walk

9. Franz Josef Glacier: 2.5-Hour Lake Mapourika Cruise and Walk

Begin your adventure at the meeting point in Franz Josef to join your small group and transfer out to Lake Mapourika with your guide. Cruise across the lake in the comfort of the boat and enjoy a stunning vista of Southern Alps and glaciers. On a clear day enjoy views as far as Mount Cook.   Sit back as you arrive into the calm estuary of the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary. Your local knowledgeable skipper will provide you with exclusive access and will guide you through a private rainforest trail.   Follow your skipper through the Jurassic rainforest track and get local insight on the region. Spot native birds as you find your way to the scenic lookout, the perfect spot for a cup or tea or coffee made on the spot.

New Zealand: 11 Day South Island Tour

10. New Zealand: 11 Day South Island Tour

Set off on an adventure-filled 11-day tour to discover and explore New Zealand's South Island with accommodation and some activities included. Day 1 - Wellington to Kaikoura Travel across the Cook Strait, one of the most enjoyable and beautiful ferry journeys in the world. Go for a wine tasting in the Marlborough region and visit the Kaikoura Seal colony. Day 2 - Kaikoura to Christchurch Hike the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway. Enjoy the amazing panoramic views of Kaikoura and discover hidden gems of Christchurch in a city street art trail. Day 3 - Christchurch to Lake Tekapo Marvel at the stars at the Dark Sky Project, Lake Tekapo. Visit The Church of the Good Shepherd. Hike up Mount John for panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. Day 4 - Lake Tekapo to Mount Cook (return) Spend the day at Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park before Hiking the Hooker Valley Track to Hooker Lake. Day 5 - Lake Tekapo to Queenstown Delight your palate with a buffet dinner with panoramic views of Queenstown at the Skyline Stratosphere Restaurant (at your own expense). Day 6 - Queenstown free day Have the whole day to yourself and explore the wonders of Queenstown. Day 7 - Queenstown to Glenorchy day trip Cruise past the late, soaking up the views, and onto Glenorchy where you'll do some short walks. Day 8 - Queenstown to Wanaka Hike Roys Peak (6-hour return) and take in breathtaking views over Lake Wānaka (only accessible from November to May). Mt Iron hike (alternative to Roys Peak); provides 360-degree views of The Pisa range. Visit the famous Wanaka tree. Day 9 - Wanaka to Franz Josef Thunder Creek falls in Mt Aspiring National Park. Visit Lake Matheson, famous for mirror views of Aoraki/Mount Cook. Day 10 - Franz Josef Design and carve your own Greenstone jewelry in a West Coast workshop (included) and walk the Glacier valley walk in Franz Josef. Day 11 - Franz Josef to Christchurch Take a scenic hike across Arthurs Pass, walk the Castle Hill track, and admire Devils Punchbowl waterfalls.

Other Sightseeing Options in Westland District

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What people are saying about Westland District

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 396 reviews

Simply being up in the treetops was amazing...quite a different experience. We didn't see many birds - I had high hopes that some I'd not ever seen in the flesh would co-operate with the flawless weather, my expectations and the literature...perhaps a time other than midday sun would have worked better? We will bring friends for a viewing: maybe evening o later afternoon?

Great outing with a good experience of the different settings from misty to clear sky and a Shalom settings with such quietness in an open lake that is unbelievable experience.

I’ am so afraid of heights and I was really worried I’d be scared but the pilot was awesome and I didn’t feel scared at all, I’d do it again any day

My young adults love the kayaking tour. Wonderful, beautiful and the experience of such peaceful quietness is unbelieveable.

Highly recommend doing this! Such an amazing experience. The view is something else !!