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Haast is a small collection of communities, Haast Junction, Haast township and Haast Beach, on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. It is located on the edge of Mount Aspiring National Park, part of the UNESCO's Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area.


Visitor information[edit]

  • 1 Awarua / Haast Visitor Centre (Haast Visitor Centre), cnr Haast Pass-Makarora Rd and Jackson Bay Rd, +64 3 750 0809. Nov–Mar: 9AM–6PM;Apr–Oct: 9AM–4:30PM. A DOC visitor centre that has information about the local area, landscape and wildlife – watch the Edge of Wilderness while you're at it.

Get in[edit]

Gates of Haast bridge

State Highway 6 (SH6) runs right through Haast, and more specifically Haast Junction, so access from Wanaka in the east or from Fox Glacier, Franz Josef Glacier, Hokitika, Greymouth in the north is very easy. SH6 offers beautiful vistas of the Tasman Sea and travels through rainforests. The Haast River Bridge just to the north of the town is also the longest single-lane bridge in the Southern Hemisphere, which also contains two passing bays. Priority for this bridge is for southbound traffic.

Get around[edit]

Use your thumb, your feet or your car because there is no public transportation in this small community.


The Haast region consists of more than 2500 km² of one of the world's most diverse and spectacular landscapes. In 1990 this area was internationally recognised as a location of significant natural value and became the centre piece of Te Wahipounamu - South West New Zealand World Heritage Area.

The Haast is the perfect destination to explore some of New Zealand's most unique scenery and wildlife. Most of which can be found in neighbouring Mount Aspiring National Park.


  • Haast River Safari, +64 3 750 0101, toll-free: 0800 865 382. Hour and a half trip in the Haast River Valley departing at 9AM, 11AM and 2PM daily summer (Oct-Apr) and 10AM and 1PM winter (May-Sep). Adult $139, student (13-18 yr) $99, child (5-12 yr) $59.
  • Waiatoto River Safari, +64 3 750 0780, toll-free: 0800 538 723. Departing 10AM, 1PM, 4PM in peak season. The first and only sea-to-mountain jetboat river safari in the world. A 2 hr 15 min to 2 hr 30 min trip including an opportunity for a short walk. Adult $199, child $139.
  • Walking. Various tracks in the area offer an opportunity to experience the wilderness of the area.
    • Dune Lake Walk. An easy 30-minute walk.
    • Hapuka Estuary Walk. An easy 20-minute walk. Starting just across from the Haast Beach Holiday Park, this track offers several different environments to explore, including 800-year-old rimu trees. This is a beautiful track for bird watching.
    • Ship Creek Tauparikaka Walks. An easy 20-minute walk to see some of the country's tallest trees. The track starts from the road to Lake Moeraki.
    • Smoothwater Bay Track. A moderate 2- to 3-hour walk.
    • Blue Pools Walk just north of Makarora, which features a swing bridge over the Makarora River and deep azure pools of glacial-fed water


  • Santana for Merino Possum, Tahutahi Rd, +64 3 750 0791. Great shop for New Zealand made Merino possum clothing, plus possum skins and products, South Westland gold, and general souvenirs.


  • The Craypot, Jackson Bay, +64 3 750 0035. 11AM–3:30PM daily. Fast food with a view.
  • Fantail Cafe, Marks Rd, +64 3 750 0055. Summer 7:30AM–5PM; winter 8AM–:30PM.
  • Frontier Café and Bar (Haast World Heritage Hotel). During the summer a buffet dinner starts at 6PM daily.



Mobile phone service started in Haast in May 2018. As of Jan 2021, coverage is limited to 3G and within a roughly 3-km radius of Haast township.

Go next[edit]

Routes through Haast
HokitikaFox Glacier  N  S  Wanaka

This city travel guide to Haast is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.