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Natural Wonders of New Zealand's South Island

West Coast

The Pancake Rocks and Punakaiki Blow Holes
The Pancake Rocks and Blow Holes are limestone formations over 30 million years old. Over the years, deceased lime-rich marine life would settle on the sea floor and has since been covered by layers of mud and clay. Over time the limestone has been moulded into extraordinary shapes by the wind and waves. Take a stroll from Punakaiki Resort, only 300 metres from the famous attraction at high tide for the optimum experience. 

The Truman Track
For an easy 30 minute walk that offers the best New Zealand nature has to offer - take the Truman Track - a short distance from Punakaiki Resort. Walk through beautiful native bush to a small, picturesque beach on the short 1.5km walk.

Charleston is an old gold-mining town, founded in 1867. The town is now famous for its extensive limestone caves and adventurous activities such as cave rafting. Charleston is located approximately 30 minutes from Punakaiki Resort - your West Coast accommodation.

Glow Worm Cave Tour
Travel through the Nile River Caves in the Paparoa National Park and take in the spectacular Glow Worm galaxies and a wonderland of ancient stalagmites and stalactites. The Glow Worm tour is in Charleston, only 30 minutes from your West Coast hotel.

Cape Foulwind Seal Colony
Cape Foulwind is located near Westport on New Zealand's West Coast; it's home to a Fur Seal colony which is accessbile via a well-maintained walking track to Tauranga Bay.

Hokitika Gorge Walk
Hokitika Gorge is truely one of the most beautiful walks in New Zealand. The walk to the gorge is very short at 15 minutes and is suitable for all ages - although small children should be supervised closeley at the end of the track. For a little more adventure, take a walk over the swing bridge for some stunning upstream views.

Fox Glacier
Take a trip to Fox Glacier - an absosute must-see while you're in the West Coast. The glacier is one of the most accessible in the world and there are plenty of guided tours and walks that will have you up close to the 13km ancient ice giant.

Franz Josef Glacier
Take the rare opportunity to experience Franz Josef Glacier - a 12km long glacier located on the West Coast of the South Island. The terminal face of the glacier is less than 300m above sea level and is just one of three located this close to the coastline.

Christchurch and Canterbury

Hanmer Springs
The beautiful alpine village of Hanmer Springs is located just one hour's drive from Christchurch - the town is packed with wonderful outdoor activities and is a great place spend a day.

Albatross Encounter
Take the rare opportunity to get up close and personal with the Royal Albatross - graceful birds with the largest wingspan in the world. The Albatross Encounter tours operate daily and is located in Kaikoura, north of Christchurch.


Lake Wanaka
As well as excellent fishing and boating, the South Island's longest lake offers swimming, jet boating, water skiing, and white water sledging - fun for all the family!

Treble Cone
The largest ski area in the South Island, Treble Cone's regular falls of dry powder and reliable weather make it one of the more popular fields. The slopes are well maintained and cater for skiers of all ages and abilities.

Cardrona Alpine Resort
Cardrona is located 35 minutes from Grand Mercure Oakridge Resort Lake Wanaka; it's three basins offer dedicated facilities for snowboarding and skiing of all levels.
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