Haast Township is located on the wild West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand . It is spread amongst three small localities, Haast township, Haast Beach and Haast Junction. Arriving at Haast, you are surrounded by a landscape of rainforest, wetlands, sand dunes and surf-pounded shingle beaches. This wilderness forms part of the South West New Zealand World Heritage Area, so designated because South Westland and Fiordland have some of the most dramatic forest and mountain scenery and natural resources in the world.
Haast is a bird watcher’s paradise, with fantail, tui, bellbird, pigeon, silvereye, grey warbler, parakeet, falcon, kaka, kiwi and morepork all located in the abundant lowland forests. Other wildlife include the fur seal, blue penguin and the Fiordland crested penguin. Haast’s main activity attractions are outdoors including guided nature tours, helicopter flights, jet boat rides, fishing, river safaris and much more.
The surrounding area has some well-developed walks including the Hapuka Estuary Walk, and the Ship Creek Walk, starting half way along the road to Lake Moeraki. These walks and others cross the wild Haast coastal plain, where complex dune systems shelter tiny lakes and many fine stands of kahikatea, New Zealand’s tallest tree.
The coastal plain continues for some 50 km south to the remote fishing village of Jackson Bay, where the long West Coast Road finally ends. There you will find the incredible Red Hills and Cascade River valley which is one of the remotest places on the New Zealand roading system and has the distinction of having a higher population of fur seals and penguins, than of humans.
There is a timeless, spiritual quality to South Westland. The booming Tasman Sea, deserted beaches, dense lowland rainforest and forbidding mountains make Haast hauntingly beautiful to all.