Things to do in the Haast/South Westland area

South Westland is a unique, wild part of the world and there is no shortage of things to do if you want to be active, or, it is a beautiful place to just ‘be’. The weather is unpredictable and can be wet & wild or it can be benign & sunny. Yes we have sandflies but if you are walking along a beach, for example, they do not bother you. Below there are some options for your trip here.

The Department of Conservation Visitor Centre is near the turn-off to Collyer House and it is well worth a visit to start to get a feel for the Haast area both in terms of what you can see today but also the rich history of the area and your host Neroli is a 4th generation local so is a wealth of knowledge about the area.

Photography

The Haast area is a photographer’s paradise with some of the best light you will find in New Zealand. For the landscape photographer there are deserted beaches strewn with driftwood, pounding surf, stunning sunrises and sunsets and seven pristine river valleys to chose from — all with a magnificent backdrop of ancient rainforest and rugged mountains. Your host at Collyer House, Neroli, is an accomplished photographer – find out more here

Scenic Helicopter Flights

See this corner of South Westland from the air. Haast Heliservices (www.heliservices.nz) run scenic helicopter flights out of Haast

Beach & Bush Walks

Experience the peace and solitude of our rain forest with our good variety of walking tracks. You cannot beat a walk along a wild West Coast beach – beachcombing or taking photos as you go. Walks are from 20 minutes to four hours in duration.

Explore South Westland

Haast is the perfect place to spend a few days exploring South Westland and is within easy driving distance of Wanaka and Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier.

Jackson Bay is the end of the road on the West Coast of the South Island and is steeped in history. It is the home of the Fiordland Crested penguin and Hectors dolphins. If you want the best fish ‘n’ chips in New Zealand then visit the Cray Pot at Jackson Bay .

Jet Boating

Explore the back country with award-winning Haast River Safaris www.haastriver.co.nz and learn about the history of this wonderful area from experienced local guides. This eco tour is not for those seeking an adrenaline rush.

Enjoy a journey from the Tasman Sea to the mountains with Waiatoto River Safaris www.riversafaris.co.nz

Bird Watching

The rain forest and wetland areas near Collyer House and home to numerous birds including native wood pidgeons, tui, bell birds, white heron, tomtit, fantail, white heron, pukeko and many more.

Fishing

Take time out for recreational fishing. Find out more about South Westland fishing here. Trout fishing with experienced local guides is available by arrangement.

Relax

Take time out from your holiday – find a book, enjoy time by the fire or on the deck – soak up some of the history of South Westland, do nothing…