Visiting Haast and the West Coast
Heartland Haast Hotel is nestled in one of New Zealand’s most significant wilderness areas. So unique is this place that UNESCO has placed World Heritage status on the three national parks that make up Te Waihipounamu status. Offering genuine Kiwi hospitality and the perfect base to explore this spectacular region, Heartland Haast Hotel is a favourite resting point for travellers the world over.
About the region
The Haast region comprises a pristine wilderness that is abundant in biodiversity. From mountain streams and waterfalls to remote beaches and riverways, the area presents travellers with dramatic landscapes and nature-based experiences for memories that will last a lifetime.
The region’s diverse natural land and water assets make it an incredible playground for adventure seekers and nature lovers. The vast expanse of wilderness area managed by the Department of Conservation offers an exceptional opportunity for exploration on foot with hiking trails that range from 5 minutes to 5 hours in duration. These include wheelchair-accessible trails and also dog-friendly walks. A visit to the Department of Conservation visitor centre is a great place to plan your walks and gain insights into how best to experience this extraordinary natural environment.
The region has a rich traditional and colonial settler history that drew 19th-century European explorers and geologists. The fascination for this area has remained the same, but traversing the Southern Alps to access the region has become easier for modern-day travellers.
Getting to and around the region
Haast refers to the region and also the small township of Haast.
Heartland Haast Hotel is located just 4km from the township. It offers a courtesy shuttle service to and from the township. The closest international airport to Haast is Queenstown. Drive time is 2hrs 40mins from Queenstown and includes spectacular scenery, including crossing the legendary Haast Pass. From Hokitika on the West Coast to Haast, the drive is 3hrs 30 minutes.
The easiest way to get around the region is by self-drive vehicle. This also allows the freedom to stop, and the many points of interest and beauty stops along major routes.
Dining in Region
The Frontier Café & Bar at Haast Heartland Hotel is a popular dining spot for guests, visitors and locals. With its casual ‘Country Pub’ style, it is relaxed and cosy with good, honest food that reflects the wild, rugged surroundings. The Waiatoto Room offers a cosy retreat for guests to relax and enjoy the convivial surroundings.
What to See & Do Around Haast
Well protected by its UNESCO World Heritage status, this pristine wilderness that takes in ancient rainforests, rivers and isolated beaches is much the same as that experienced by the early explorers, yet now accessible to the modern traveller. The region also offers exciting and effortless ways to take in the enormity of this natural world. Experience the area by air, jet boat or hike the well-signed and marked-out trails. At the end of the day, exploring and marvelling at the wonder of nature. Rest, refresh and replenish body and soul with the cosy and comfortable surroundings of Heartland Haast Hotel.