The West Coast is a 6oo kilometre stretch of land located between the Southern Alps and the Tasman sea. Within this region are five of New Zealand's national parks - Kahurangi, Paparoa, Arthur's Pass, Westland and Mt. Aspiring.
A region of incredible diversity, the West Coast is home to some of the countries highest mountains as well as beaches, rainforests, glaciers, rock formations, rivers, gorges, podocarp forests and an abundance of wildlife.
Take a two-hour discovery adventure to see where the Pacific and Australian continental plates meet. Visit the drilling site and learn how it plays a vital role in seismic monitoring and see how two active plates come together and shape the land around them. The Alpine fault line is a natural wonder of our planet that until recently has only been accessible to international geologists studying and monitoring the site.
The Gaunt Creek exposure site is one of the most significant sites in the world where middle earth has been thrust to the surface from 30 kilometres below by the power of the colliding tectonic plates. The fault line is like nothing you have seen before. It’s unusual colour and texture created by pressure and heat must be seen to be believed. It is the only naturally exposed fault line site on the globe making it a magnet for scientists from all around the world.
At Mitchells Gully Goldmine you can experience a unique and personal perspective of the regions goldmining history. Step back in time and get a true understanding of how gold was recovered by the first miners here in Charleston between 1866 and the early 1900s. Follow the trolly track, explore the old tunnels, enjoy the beauty of the glow worms, native plants, see the only remaining waterwheel and stamping battery in Charleston. After your walk around the goldmine you are welcome to relax in the picnic area. If you are in the area for the night, book a glow worm tour through the goldmine – it is an unforgettable experience.