Tourism Development and Enterprise Opportunities on the West Coast Associated with Track and Water Resources Research Completed


Tourism Development and Enterprise Opportunities on the West Coast Associated with Track and Water Resources

Lead Author

Tourism Resource Consultants


Development West Coast, Tourism West Coast

Publication Year



Development West Coast



The West Coast of the South Island contains rich natural sea and landscapes of which many visitors are now travelling to see. There are several feature attractions such as the glaciers, the reflections of Lake Mathieson, the rocks & blowholes at Punakaiki or the seals at Tauranga Bay, but there are also many low-key attractions, such as the Hokitika Gorge, Oparara Arches or the coastline at Gillespies Beach. A wide range of activities, either passive or active, can be undertaken to help visitors interact with this landscape.

The West Coast currently receives an estimated 1.9 million visitors annually with the majority visiting in the summer season and staying on average 1.7 nights. However, the region is often perceived as difficult to get to, as having poor weather, and is often treated as a drive through area rather than a destination. There is an opportunity for the West Coast to attract additional visitors, repeat visitors and encourage existing visitors to stay longer, thereby increasing visitor expenditure on the West Coast and benefiting the region by providing additional jobs, income and business opportunities and increasing the awareness of the coasts natural and cultural heritage.

To achieve these objectives, this report identifies potential development, business and resource enhancement ideas relating to track and water resources. A stock take of existing track and water related tourism businesses indicates that there is scope for further development and enhancement in this area. The opportunities identified are not necessarily new and some may be a diversification in the product offering. A framework is proposed to help guide the consideration of development ideas for tracks or business opportunities in relation to water and track resources. This focuses on the viability of the businesses and the returns back to the local communities.

The report focuses on potential market demand for products and draws extensively from relevant tourism and recreation successes and failures elsewhere in New Zealand.



Tourism, Recreation, Outdoors, Development opportunities, Track, Walk, Tramping, Trail, Mountain bike, Cycling, Conservation, Ecotourism, Cave, River, Parks, Glacier, Kayak, Fishing, Heaphy Track, Great Walk, Culture, Department of Conservation