DOC Information: South Westland

South Westland is famous for its dramatic coastline - the sweeping curves of beaches; rugged cliff tops and spectacular glaciers. The visitor can travel through a series of unspoiled natural environments, often in a continuous sequence, from the sea through ancient sand dunes, lakes and forests of different types, to the dramatic backdrop of the mountain chain dividing east from west. A country so wild and relatively undisturbed that the town of Haast was not linked by road to the rest of West Coast until 1965. It is an area where the visitor can experience something of the region's wildlife. Fiordland crested penguins (tawaki) may be seen at Monro Beach during the spring. Forest birds include the threatened kaka (a large native parrot), Haast tokoeka (a rare species of kiwi) and our native falcon (karearea). This superb diversity of features was recognised nationally with the creation of Mt Aspiring National Park, and internationally with the establishment, in 1991, of Te Wahipounamu- South West New Zealand World Heritage Area. World Heritage status means this part of New Zealand has been recognised as being among the world's foremost natural landscapes.
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