‘The Coast’ is the colloquial term used to describe that part of the South Island of New Zealand that lies west of The Southern Alps. It is a region that stretches from the northern most tip of the island to 50kms south of the Haast River in the south, and has three principal towns, Westport (‘capital’ of the Buller District) at the mouth of the Buller River, Greymouth, and the mouth of the Grey River, and Hokitika at the mouth of, you guessed it, the Hokitika River. What it also has is some of the most stunning scenery in the world- lakes,
rivers, glaciers, mountains and coastline, and some of the most wonderful people on the planet. They have a delightful term to describe the origins of ‘other people’, those who are not ‘Coasters’ (those born on The Coast) and who do not live on The Coast. These people are “from away”. It matters not whether you live in Christchurch (on the other side of the island), Dunedin (another southern city) elsewhere in the South Island, or the North Island, Australia, London, the US, or ANYWHERE- you are ‘from AWAY’. A delightful mannerism that has been born of the splendid isolation of The Coast. The Southern Alps stretch pretty much the length of the South Island and with just 3 passes over it, the region has developed a strong sense of identity, and independence. There are many who promote the concept of the Republic of West Coast, some not completely in jest.