Your first glimpse of New Zealand’s dramatic West Coast is in the former gold rush town of Charleston. “The Coast” is 375 miles long and 31 miles at the widest point. This remote seaside region is defined by the Southern Alps and the relentless waves of the Tasman Sea. The scenery of Te Tai Poutini (Māori name) is rugged with an irregular shoreline, weather-beaten crags and fascinating rock formations. Inland are rivers and rainforests beckoning to be explored. These are a few of the countless beautiful reasons why this stretch of highway headed south is called the Great Coast Road.