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Whataroa is in the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. It lies at the foot of the western slopes of the Southern Alps, on a glacial-formed landscape.


Whataroa is a small town in the very scenic Whataroa Valley of South Westland. It is bounded by mountains, glacial landforms and two rivers: the Whataroa river in the north and the Waitangitaona river to the south.

It is home to the annual South Westland A&P (Agricultural and Pastoral) Show.

Get in[edit]

Whataroa is on State Highway 6.

  • It's about 1 hr and 30 min from (south of) Hokitika.
  • It's about 30 min from (north of) Franz Josef.

Intercity buses stop outside the Whataroa Store. Northbound buses stop at 9.45am and southbound buses at 4.20pm.

The nearest airport is at Hokitika.

Get around[edit]



Whataroa offers visitors three main activities, in the air, on the water and on the land, respectively: Air - Glacier Country Scenic Flights Water - White Heron Tours Land - Alpine Fault Tours

  • 1 White Heron Sanctuary Tours, 64 Main Rd. Visitors can go to see kotuku/white herons in their natural nesting environment. Tours start at the office and ten go on a minibus to Waitangiroto Nature Reserve, where entry is only possible on a tour. There are also motel units onsite.
  • 2 Alpine Fault Tours, 70 Main Rd. Visitors can take guided tours to the natural exposure of the Alpine Fault at Gaunt Creek. Tours start with a briefing in the office before boarding a bus or ute to Gaunt Creek for a walk.


The Whataroa Store provides essential supplies and has a small cafe with meals. The Whataroa Service Station has fuel and repair services.


The Whataroa Store has a small cafe with meals.


There is no pub in Whataroa.


Whataroa and area has motels, a backpackers with a campground for campervans and bed & breakfasts.



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