South Island West Coast in April - Need to Book Hotels?

Old Jan 16, 18, 9:56 am
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South Island West Coast in April - Need to Book Hotels?

Apologies if this has been discussed - I searched to no avail. We're going to spend 4 days on the South Island's West Coast (Haast to Kumara) in mid-April. I've heard that it's relatively easy to play it by ear and find accommodations on the fly. Can anyone chime in on whether that will be possible in April or should we be booking accommodations given how small the towns are? Also, can anyone comment on weather in April? It sounds like things get very wet in May, but is April usually pretty dry/mild? Thanks!
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Old Jan 16, 18, 10:57 am
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Easter is 30 Mar / 2 Apr so more busy There are not many towns or places to stay but Mid April should be OK

Weather could be brisk, but you will survive. Take a good raincoat.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greymouth
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Coast,_New_Zealand
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Old Jan 16, 18, 11:18 pm
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If you are not fussy and just need a bed, you should be able to find something at Greymouth, Hokitika, Frank Josep and probably Fox Glacier as long as you don't arrive late. In between those towns accommodation is very limited, and Fox and Haast only have a handful of lodges each. We got the last double room at the Franz Josef YHA at around 4pm during Easter week last year. I think the variable weather puts people off and a lot of tourists seemed to be on coach tours! It depends on your attitude to risk and how willing you are to drive/ring around.

Weather is always variable. Layer and be prepared for rain. Or you could be lucky with clear skies!
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Old Jan 16, 18, 11:58 pm
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Fox and Franz expensive for what is available, Greymouth, Haast and Hokitika much better but no glazier on their doorstep. Take plenty of mozzi repelant as it comes before and after the rain.
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Old Jan 17, 18, 11:44 pm
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Mid-April is in the school holidays. I'd definitely book in advance. Know of people who didn't when visiting the west coast and regretted it - ended up parking their car on the side of the road to sleep in because there was simply nothing available within several hours of driving.

As for weather, the west coast can be very wet at any time of year. If spending any length of time on the west coast, or planning a visit immediately upon arrival to NZ or just before departure, allow an extra day or two in case of weather issues (e.g. roads closed for a day).
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