Largest town: Greymouth (South Island) Population: 32,400 Languages: English, Maori Time : GMT+12 (+13 Oct–apr) International dialling code: +64 Visas: Not required by UK nationals for stays of up to three months. Money: New Zealand dollar (NZ$), currently around NZ$1.95 to the UK£1.
When to go Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
■ Winter – the weather can be more settled during winter, and facilities are still open at Punakaiki and in Greymouth. ■ Summer – best chance of warmer weather; streams and creeks should be low but facilities will be more in demand and the weather is still changeable. ■ Shoulder season – spring and autumn see cooler weather, fewer crowds and more room in hotels and huts. Do check the opening times of facilities before you go and, as floods are possible, be sure to check track conditions with the Department of Conservation (DOC).
Health & safety
No specific jabs are required. The water is safe to drink, so fill your reusable bottles and enjoy. Do be aware that the weather in New Zealand – in particular the West Coast – can be very changeable; it’s not uncommon to experience all four seasons in a day. No matter when you go, take waterproof overtrousers, a jacket and plenty of layers – note that it gets cold, even in the huts, at night.
Further reading & Information
www.newzealand.com – tourism board https://westcoast.co.nz – official site for the West Coast www.doc.govt.nz – Department of Conservation site; download a trail guide and register to hike the Paparoa Track