The West Coast is known for its wild weather and rugged landscape. It’s one of the most isolated parts of New Zealand and home to some pretty special sites. One such site is the Indo Kiwi near Fox River, a Balinese inspired peaceful glamping paradise. Everything from the beautiful garden to the intricately carved doors transports you to a whole new world while allowing you to be perfectly placed to explore all the West Coast has to offer.
I came across the Indo Kiwi while researching places to stay for our two week West Coast road trip. As someone who has been to Bali and been craving a bit of overseas travel, I immediately knew we had to stay there. From the minute you open the massive wooden gate, you will be overwhelmed by the beauty of this magical place.
The main sleeping area is elevated on the hills, with a kitchen and bathroom cabin outback. Nestled amongst the tropical garden are the outdoor bath, and right by the entrance is a fish pond and the fire pit. So if you’re looking for a spot that showcases the beauty of the West Coast while offering something a little different, then the Indo Kiwi is the spot for you.
Getting to the Indo Kiwi
The Indo Kiwi is in Fox River, about 15 minutes away from Punakaiki. So if you’re arriving from the North, then it’s about 30minutes from Westport, and if you’re driving from the South, it’s about 45 minutes from Greymouth.
In terms of supplies, it’s a good idea to stock up before you get to the Indo Kiwi. There are no supermarkets nearby, so it’s best to visit one in Westport or Greymouth beforehand.
The closest airport is in Hokitika, so I highly recommend including this as a spot on a more extended West Coast trip instead of a one-off holiday (unless you live nearby). Some popular West Coast routes include
- Hokitika to Christchurch
- Queenstown to Christchurch
- Nelson to Hokitika
Staying at the Indo Kiwi
The Indo Kiwi is located high on the hilltops, with nothing around but the beauty of nature. The driveway to get there is extremely steep, and you will need a 4WD to get to the top. However, if you have the wrong sort of car, your hosts will drive you up and down.
Once you’re all settled, your main struggle will be deciding where to sit and enjoy the sunset. From the Balinese inspired day bed on the deck to the stunning outdoor bath, there are plenty of spots to make yourself comfortable.
We opted for loungers, and while the weather wasn’t quite Bali warm (it was the middle of winter), we felt like we were starting a tropical holiday with a cocktail in hand as the sun dove into the ocean. We just had a simple BBQ for dinner, there’s no fridge, but there is a cooler with fresh ice packs provided daily plus everything else you need to cook in the kitchen cabin.
Once the sun was gone and the moon came out its time to run a bath and lie surrounded by trees with the stars sparkling on the midnight black sky. Then it’s time to cosy up in front of the fire and listen to the waves crash in the distance. If the weather isn’t great, then you can retreat to the day bed on the deck, pull down the wall and relax in front of the gas heater.
The bedroom itself is fully enclosed with a stunning stained glass window above the bed. In addition, the room is well insulated with a heater for those chiller nights.
Where to eat
Suppose you don’t feel like cooking, then the closest places to grab a bite are Punakaiki or Charleston. There’s not a lot in the area, but there are a couple of places in each town. We went to the Punakaiki Tavern for lunch one day, and the classic Kiwi pub food hit the spot.
While you’re in the area
The area of the Indo Kiwi is very remote; however, there is plenty to keep you entertained. So when you need a break from relaxing, here are a few things you can do.
Underworld adventures has to be one of the best tours I’ve ever been on in New Zealand. The experience starts at their base in Charleston before heading off on the bus to the Paparoa National Park. During the rides, you’ll learn more about the history of the town, and how at one point, they were thinking of making it the capital of New Zealand.
Once you arrive in the National Park, you transfer to the Nile River Rainforest train, which will take you deep into the forest.
After the train ride is a short walk up to the mouth of the Metro Te Ananui Cave, where the underworld part of the adventure beings. You make your way through the stunning cave system further and further down until you reach the water. You jump in your rafting tube and float down underneath one of the most spectacular glow worm displays in the country.
Visit the Pancake Rocks
Punakaiki is probably most famous for the incredible pancake rocks. Formed from limestone, these unique layered rock formations line the coastline scattered with blowholes and surge pools. The loop track takes about 20 minutes, with plenty of lookouts and spots to stop along the way. Head there at high tide to increase your chances of seeing the blowholes in action.
If you’re not keen on the full caving experience offered by underworld adventures but want to experience a little bit of caving, then head to the Punakaiki Carven. It is about 5 minutes from the Pancake Rocks, and the entrance is only about 100m from the road. You’re free to explore the cave as much as you like, just my sure you take a torch.
Explore the Pororari River
If caves really aren’t your thing, then why not explore the Pororari River? There are walking tracks in the area and also the option to kayak or paddleboard down it.
Final thoughts on the Indo Kiwi
Sometimes you come across a place that looks great in pictures but is a letdown in reality. This is not the case for the Indo Kiwi. It looks stunning in photos and then is even better in reality. I can honestly say it’s one of the most magical places I’ve ever stayed.