The West Coast is only the West Coast of the South Island, not New Zealand. The Maori first came here for Greenstone, then the Pakeha for gold, then coal, then they cut down trees to farm the land. But there was still plenty left over to see…. Glaciers, Native Forests, High Mountains, Lakes and Rivers and, of course, rain.
The southern part of the coast is often referred to as Westland. Westland is a narrow ribbon of land where the mountains of the Southern Alps rise out of the Tasman Sea. The steep mountains force the warm moist winds from the sea to rise, cool and drop their rain on this land. As a consequence the countryside is full of rainforests, lakes, rivers and the occasional swamp.
==== WEST COAST NEW ZEALAND – ATTRACTION
The West Coast is also famous for being the only New Zealand nesting place of the rare White Heron / Kotuku, which nests near the Okarito Lagoon and can be visited from tours operating out of the small farming township of Whataroa. This rare bird appears on the New Zealand.