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Wet Weather Paddling in Westland National Park

Wet Weather Paddling in Westland National Park

by | Feb 14, 2019

Westland Te- Poutini National Park is located on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. Westland National Park is NZ’s 5th largest National Park. Extending from the Southern Alps all the way out to the Tasman Sea.

Famous for its rain-forest, glaciers and remote, wild coastlines the Westland National Park is a very unique place to visit. With over 5 meters of rainfall per year in the Franz Josef Glacier Township, subsequently the rain- forest is extremely lush.


Lake Mapourika is situated in the middle of the wild West Coast and the Southern Alps. In contrast to the the vegetation-less Southern Alps, Lake Mapourika is surrounded by lush Jurassic, old growth, temperate rain forest.

14,000 years ago Lake Mapourika was created by the retreating Franz Josef Glacier. When the glacier retreated it left behind a large melting block of ice. As a result this formed the 80 meter deep kettle lake that we have today.  In addition to the lush flora Lake Mapourika is also home to a variety of Native Birds, the long- finned eel, Salmon and Brown Trout.

With on average 200 days of the year in Franz Josef Glacier, it is very common to be kayaking int the rain. And the views are stunning, nothing beats seeing a rain- forest in its natural state.