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Nature & Wildlife

Glacier Country, West Coast’s Gillespies Beach

  • 1 minute

West Coast, South Island

Gillespies Beach: what to see and do

There are interpretation panels and historic photographs of the period when the area was bustling with miners dredging the sand for gold. Gillespies Beach is a great day trip from either Franz Josef or Fox townships. Families get to stretch their legs on remote driftwood beaches. Interesting mining relics and evidence of past activity adds to the charm of the place. A highlight is the wintering seal colony. Another reason to visit in winter.

Getting there:

Gillespies Beach is a 21 km drive from Fox Glacier township. Head west along Cook Flat Road passing the turn off to Lake Matheson and the Peak Viewpoint along the way. After 8 km turn off to Gillespies Beach Road and follow this for 11 km to the end. Half of the journey is on a narrow, unsealed road – keep left, and keep your speed to a minimum. The road is not suitable for towing vehicles.

Gillespies Beach Highlights:

  • Wintering seal colony
  • Heritage gold mining trails
  • Wild West Coast beach environment, raw and untamed

Walking tracks

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