A Doctor’s Guide to Working on the West Coast, New Zealand

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A Doctor's Guide to Working on the West Coast, New Zealand


In this location guide series, we will showcase what it is like to work in one specific region in either Australia or New Zealand. Each episode will highlight the unique benefits of the chosen location and their facilities, while outlining the opportunities available to our doctors.

The West Coast of New Zealand

The West Coast is a region of New Zealand on the South Island. It is one of the more remote and most sparsely populated areas of the country. The main towns are Westport, Greymouth, and Hokitika. The region is well known for its charismatic locals and Kiwi hospitality. It’s a true New Zealand experience.

‘The Coast’, as the locals call it, stretches over 600km, includes five national parks and welcomes over one million tourists a year. Stunning landscapes and jaw-dropping activities provide something for everyone. Recent years have seen a tremendous tourist boom with more and more things to do year on year.

You can choose helicopter rides to the incredible glaciers, walking and jet boat safaris, cave rafting, quad bike tours, a gold rush experience, bird-watching tours and much more.

Key attractions in the region include Pancake Rocks, Franz Josef and Fox Glacier, the Haast World Heritage Area and Lake Brunner.


The region is steeped in gold and coal mining history and it still retains its character and pioneering spirit. Following the Gold Rush in the 1860s, coal became the region’s main industry in the 1880s and has been a critical financial contributor to the community ever since. The area is also well known for its Greenstone and Timber.

Te Nikau, Grey Hospital and Health Centre

The brand-new Te Nikau, Grey Hospital and Health Centre, designed to replace the current Grey Base Hospital, is purpose-built to provide more integrated services and deliver modern models of care to people across the West Coast.

The 8,500-metre, $121.9 million facility includes 56 in-patient beds, three operating theatres, radiology, laboratory services and an integrated family health centre which will provide an exciting opportunity for staff to see the link between primary and secondary care under one roof. It also houses a 24/7 emergency department, critical care unit, acute and planned medical and surgical services, maternity services, paediatrics and outpatient care, as well as geriatric assessment, treatment and rehabilitation services.

Te Nikau’s state-of-the-art design is future proofed to allow for flexible ways of working, and will serve the community and wider region well into the future.


Transport on the West Coast is generally contemporary, welcoming and inexpensive. The public transport selections may include buses, taxis, trains, flights or ferries. Hiring a rental car, motorbike or motorhome is also another option.


Find multiple accommodation options, including hotels, lodges and self-contained units here.

Closing Thoughts

The West Coast offers an amazing lifestyle and recreational activity opportunities, professional challenges and opportunities. If you love the rural setting and the great outdoors, then we would like to hear from you.

Contact the team here to learn more about the West Coast.

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