Haast is an area in the Westland District territorial authority on the west coast of New Zealand's South Island. The European settlement of the area dates back to the 1870s. The remoteness of the area initially limited access to sea-going vessels, with some rough tracks from the north and east. The present Haast township was originally a New Zealand Ministry of Works road construction camp, which expanded into a permanent township when the opening of the Haast Pass in 1962 made the region more accessible. The road through the pass to Wanaka was upgraded in 1966. In 1990 the Haast area was included as part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, giving international recognition as a location of significant natural value to Te Wahipounamu---The South West New Zealand World Heritage Area.
Arriving at Haast, you are surrounded by a landscape of rainforest, wetlands, sand dunes, and surf-pounded shingle beaches. Heartland World Heritage Hotel sits on the doorstep of this unique world heritage area. Located in Haast Junction, four kilometres from Haast township in south Westland, they offer the ideal place to stopover and explore this incredible area, en route between the West Coast and the southern lakes. This is one of the most untouched environments in New Zealand. Within this area you will find ancient forests, mighty glaciers, rare wildlife, wild coastlines, and perhaps even a new sense of awe and appreciation for the natural world around us.
The hotel offers luxurious facilities including:
- Comfortable guest rooms, with a choice of superior rooms, family rooms and family suites – all with quality room amenities.
- Convenient hotel facilities, including Internet lounge, children’s playground, and conference facilities.
- Excellent dining options for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the selection of restaurants and bars.
- Helpful friendly staff, ready to assist you with information and bookings for your chosen local attractions.
- The Frontier Café & Bar
- The Waitoto Room restaurant
- Arawata Bar
- Barbecue facilities
- Guest laundry & laundry service
- Visitor information & booking service
- Internet lounge
- Games room
- Sky TV in Frontier Café & Bar
- Children’s playground
- Courtesy coach
- DVD players & movie selection
The Heartland World Heritage Hotel has fifty-two rooms comprising forty-eight superior rooms plus two family suites and two family rooms featuring separate bedrooms. All are non-smoking.
All rooms include:
- Hot drink making facilities
- Clock radio
- Electric blankets
- Ironing facilities
Part of the 2.6 million hectare South West New Zealand World Heritage Area, or Te Wahipounamu as it is known in Maori, the Haast area has more than its fair share of natural attractions. Take a walk under a canopy of ancient Rimu trees, try your luck at spotting some of the native birds or animals, or choose something altogether more adventurous. Activities and attractions include:
- Jet boating
- Jet skiing
- Fly salmon and trout fishing
- Scenic flights
- Local birdlife (Kiwi, Bellbird, Tui, Kaka, Kea)
- Marine life (Hector Dolphins, Fiordland Crested Penguins, fur seals)
- Walking & trekking
- Haast World Heritage Area Visitor Centre
The surrounding area has some well-developed walks including the Hapuka Estuary Walk, which leaves from the motor camp, and the Ship Creek Walk, starting half way along the road to Lake Moeraki. These walks and others cross the wild Haast coastal plain, where complex dune systems shelter tiny lakes and many fine stands of kahikatea, New Zealand’s tallest tree. There is a timeless, spiritual quality to South Westland. The booming Tasman Sea, deserted beaches, dense lowland rainforest and forbidding mountains are hauntingly beautiful.
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