Sweet spots on the West Coast

Department of Conservation —  06/11/2014

Conservation Week runs from 1–9 November. To celebrate this we have asked DOC staff to share with us their favourite local conservation spot to visit.

jose-watson-profileJose Watson, Partnerships Ranger, Hokitika

The are so many great places that I love visiting on the West Coast. It’s hard to narrow it down to just one, so I will choose my top four!

Lake Mahinapua

Lake Mahinapua is a favourite. I love to swim there in summer, and in still weather the reflections are amazing.

Lake Mahinapua. Photo: Michael Dawes | CC BY-NC 2.0.

Lake Mahinapua

My favourite trip is to take a canoe out on the Lake, and then paddle down Mahinapua Creek, through beautiful wetland and forest to the mouth of the creek, which is almost all the way to Hokitika.

I see lots of white herons, and it’s a really gentle creek, so anyone can do it!

Charming Creek Walkway

Charming Creek Walkway just north of Westport is one of best tracks to mountain bike.

The Mangatini Falls and Gorge are spectacular, and the track passes through several tunnels, which are fun to bike in the dark!

Mangatini Stream.

Charming Creek Walkway

Castle Hill/Kura Tawhiti

Castle Hill/Kura Tawhiti is not actually on the West Coast but it’s a place I often stop at on my way to Christchurch. I love to walk around the rocks, and climb over them—it’s great fun.

Castle Hill. Photo: G Morel | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Castle Hill/Kura Tawhiti

Pororari River, Punakaiki

The Pororari River in Punakaiki is such a lovely place for a walk—the forest feels prehistoric, with nikau palms and towering limestone bluffs, and the river is clear and slow flowing.

If it’s a really warm day I find myself a swimming hole!

Pororari River. Photo: Tancredi | Flickr | CC BY-NC 2.0.

Pororari River

Celebrate Conservation Week

Discover the world where you live this Conservation Week—find a local conservation spot on the DOC website.

3 responses to Sweet spots on the West Coast





    There are so many great spots and stops on the West Coast I can understand why to struggled to choose your top four.

    Chantelle Taylor 06/11/2014 at 9:04 am

    Nice blog Jose – brings back memories of my West Coast days 😉