West Coast in Lonely Planet's top 10 regions

LIAM HYSLOP
Last updated 15:32 19/11/2013
Hokitika Gorge Landscape
Ian Gill, Department of Conservation

SPLENDID VIEW: The Department of Conservation's Jose Watson enjoying the new view from the boardwalk at Hokitika Gorge

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The West Coast has been rated in Lonely Planet's top ten regions of the world.

Coming in at eighth, the West Coast joins such beautiful regions as the Victoria Falls and the Spanish port town of Mallorca in the list of places with cultural beauty and natural riches.

Somehow the pesky Aussies managed to rate higher than New Zealand, with the Kimberly in Western Australia rating as number two.

The writers waxed lyrical about the national parks, cycling tracks, walkways, lakes and glaciers which cover the West Coast landscape.

"Those who think they've seen it all should prepare for some enlivening surprises."

"Hemmed in by the Tasman Sea and the Southern Alps, the South Island's remote and sparsely populated West Coast lays claim to three national parks and large tracts of three more, encompassed within a conservation estate covering nearly 90% of its land area."

"In 2014, the Department of Conservation will open two major cycling and hiking trails in co-operation with local partners, as part of the newly established New Zealand Cycle Trail network.

"The Cape Foulwind seal colony can be visited on a revitalised walkway, as can the mesmerising mirror lake of Matheson and Hokitika Gorge, a hidden jewel. New paths deftly cut through ancient forest link the villages of Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers to their glacier trailheads."

The complete list:

1. Sikkim, India

2. The Kimberley, Australia

3. Yorkshire, England

4. Hokuriku, Japan

5. Texas, USA

6. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and Zambia

7. Mallorca, Spain

8. West Coast, New Zealand

9. Hunan, China

10. Ha'apai, Tonga

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