Haast is a small township situated on the western end of the Haast Pass with around 300 people living in the town and surrounding area. It was originally formed as a Ministry of Works road construction camp but the opening of the Haast Pass in 1962 made the region more accessible and people moved there to set up homes and businesses.
The Haast Pass road follows an ancient trail used by Maori travelling to the West Coast in search of pounamu/greenstone/jade/nephrite. The name for the trail is Tiora-patea, meaning "The way is clear". The Haast Pass is the lowest across the Main Divide (563 metres above sea level).
Haast offers a unique insight to the "real New Zealand" a rare gem, unspoilt by humans and thriving with native bird life.
A large Department of Conservation Visitor Information Centre located in the town informs the thousands of visitors who pass through of the wide range of activities available in the area. These range from jet boating, helicopter flights, hunting, fishing, glaciers, fantastic bushwalks and other eco tourism activities.
It's the perfect destination to explore some of New Zealand's most unique scenery and wildlife situated amidst spectacular & rugged scenery of the South West New Zealand World Heritage area, between ancient rainforests of Te Wahipounamu, glaciers, and the Tasman sea.
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