Long weekend holidays at home

D Ritchie

Dave Ritchie Director – Experiential Learning, Tai Poutini Polytechnic

With Easter just around the corner, you might be thinking of packing up and heading out of town for the break. But before you start booking accommodation and preparing to battle the holiday traffic, take a look at the following ideas for planning your own “holiday at home”. The West Coast has plenty to offer, from hidden gems to world-class outdoor attractions, so head out and get amongst it. Remember: don’t leave town ‘til you’ve seen the country.

You might have taken a field trip here in high school, otherwise many Coasters have never taken the time to visit this world-class attraction. Limestone arches and caves to explore in the majestic Kahurangi National Park at Karamea.

Popular with kayakers, you can also walk along the wild Waitaha River to Morgan Gorge – see if you can find the “hole in the bottom of the world”.

With a walking trail on the western edge of the lake, a road along the east, and plenty of baches and huts to camp in, you can walk, ride and kayak your way right around Lake Kaniere over three days.

If you’re a history buff, you’ll love the experience of tramping the route first used by Cobb & Co drays to bring people and goods across the Southern Alps into the West Coast. Incredibly quiet, with good huts and easy walking, this is a must-do.

If wheels are your preferred mode of transport, make sure you get your bike up to the Denniston Plateau to experience some of the fantastic DOC mountain bike tracks.

If you haven’t already experienced the Old Ghost Road at Seddonville, you’re missing an absolute gem. It’s a world-class tourism attraction right here on the Coast that you can walk, bike or even helicopter in to.

This hugely popular tourist attraction doesn’t require a guide, although there are plenty around if you want a great experience and the guided Kiwi Spotting Experience is truly special. If you prefer, you can just rock-up to the water and start paddling.

TPP has a range of quality training programmes available on the West Coast including outdoor education, chef, tourism and hospitality - contact TPP today for more information.