The Greenwood Guide to New Zealand
West Coast, New Zealand

Culture and History in West Coast, New Zealand

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Flowing West Movie

Franz Josef


Need a wet day activity? Look no further… the Flowing West Movie is a 20-minute armchair ride through glacier country. This visual journey is the next best thing to a helicopter flight, so if you suffer from motion sickness, are a little strapped for cash, or you just want a good spurt of entertainment it’s well worth the tiny entrance fee. Helicopter rides:

  • Prices: Tickets: $10 adult, $5 child.
  • Contact: Alpine Adventure Centre, Main Road, Franz Josef
  • Tel: 0800-800-793
  • Fax: 03-752-0764
  • Email:
  • Web:
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Cultural tours

This faithfully-restored replica of an 1860’s West Coast gold mining town is a living monument to the hardy pioneers who forded the wildly exotic rivers and streams, and scrambled through the rugged sub-tropical rainforest in search of their fortunes. Shantytown provides a ‘real’ sense of what it was like to live in New Zealand both during and after the dynamic great rush. Share in the early New Zealanders' experiences - ride on a steam train, pan for gold (guaranteed strike!), quench your thirst in The Golden Nugget Saloon and visit the confectionary store to try its original boiled lollies.

  • Prices: Adults entry with gold-panning $20 (without gold-panning $16), student (13 - 17 yrs) $12, children (5 - 12 yrs) $10.00. Concessions and family passes available. All tickets include a steam train ride, student and children's tickets include gold-panning.
  • Contact: 11km south of Greymouth off SH 6, Rutherglen Road, Paroa, Greymouth
  • Tel: 03-762-6634
  • Fax: 03-762-6649
  • Email:
  • Web:
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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West Coast Highlights

  • Drive the beautiful coastal route from Westport to Haast; it's quite rightly considered one of world's most extraordinary drives. Stop off to stretch your legs at Punakaiki and walk to see the Pancake Rocks and its blowholes.
  • Try black-water rafting in the glowworm grotto of Charleston caves near Westport.
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