Kiwi Motorhomes Blog

Discover the West Coast Glaciers of the South Island from your cosy motorhome

The West Coast of New Zealand offers an enchanting and untamed wilderness that invites motorhome travellers seeking a unique and off-the-beaten-path holiday experience in the Land of the Long White Cloud. Nestled between the rugged Southern Alps and the wild Tasman Sea, this remote region boasts some of the country’s most breathtaking landscapes.

As you journey through the West Coast in your motorhome, you’ll encounter pristine rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and rugged coastline that stretches as far as the eye can see. With ample camping spots available, it’s easy to plan your West Coast adventure.

Explore the captivating Fox and Franz Josef glaciers, meander through lush native forests in the Westland Tai Poutini National Park, and soak in the tranquillity of serene glacial lakes. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, nature lover, or simply in search of serenity, the West Coast promises an unforgettable New Zealand motorhome holiday filled with natural wonders and authentic Kiwi hospitality. This route is fun in either direction and below we have highlighted the North to South route.

West coast motorhome
Photo Credit: RoadyNZ


Hokitika, a captivating coastal town on New Zealand’s South Island, that beckons travellers seeking a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Renowned for its rich heritage in gold mining, Hokitika’s past comes alive through its charming streets and historic buildings. Be sure to check out Hokitika Museum for a fascinating glimpse into the region’s pioneering days.

This picturesque town also boasts a thriving arts scene, with numerous craft galleries and workshops where you can witness local artisans at work, creating exquisite pieces of art inspired by the surrounding landscapes. Whether you’re strolling along its rugged beaches, exploring its vibrant craft scene, or gazing at the majestic Southern Alps in the background, Hokitika offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere, making it an ideal starting point for your motorhome adventure through the untamed beauty of the West Coast. If you’re looking for a short day walk check out Hokitika Gorge Walk which takes you out into native NZ jungle to enjoy views of the stunning Hokitika Gorge and its brilliant blue waters.

West coast motorhome
Photo Credit: West Coast Development

Hokitika – Where to Stay:

Ross Beach Top 10 Holiday Park

West coast motorhome

Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef township, complements the Glacier with its own unique charm. The town shares a proximity to the stunning glaciers and lush rainforests, making Franz Josef an excellent choice for travellers looking to explore these natural wonders. Jump on a guided hike with Franz Josef Glacier Guides or land on top of a glacier in a helicopter with the Helicopter Line or walk along the valley floor and see Franz Josef from the ground. There are so many options to take in this natural wonder.

West coast motorhome
Photo Credit: Franz Josef Guides

Franz Josef – where to eat:

Alice May Restaurant

West coast motorhome
Photo Credit: Clint Trahan

Franz Josef – Where to stay:

Rain Forest Retreat

West coast motorhome
Photo Credit: RoadyNZ

Fox Glacier

Amidst stunning natural beauty, Fox Glacier township is a charming gateway for glacier exploration. Surrounded by lush rainforests this cozy township offers inviting cafes, local dining, and comfortable accommodations. Whether you’re taking a heli-hike with Fox Glacier Guides or walking to the Fox Glacier Lookout, with serene landscapes, Fox Glacier township is a must-do on your campervan adventure. Be sure to check out the perfect reflections at Lake Matheson on a calm day.

Jacksons Bay

Jacksons Bay, historically known as Okahu, holds a rich Māori and European heritage. It served as a significant trading post for early European settlers in the 19th century, with ships arriving to collect timber and other resources. Today, the bay’s history is preserved through its serene coastal charm and traces of its past, making it a unique destination for travellers seeking both natural beauty and historical insights. Visit The Cray Pot for a delicious lunch for continuing the long drive South.

West coast motorhome
Photo Credit: Stewart Nimmo

Given the remote nature of the region, it is important to check ahead for any road closures and don’t forget to pre-book a GPS unit to help you navigate New Zealand’s roads.

Why not make the most of the scenic surroundings by adding on E-bike rental? It’s only $35.00 per bike per day and makes the hilly rides a dream.

Reach out today and to start planning your West Coast motorhome adventure.