West Coast Wilderness Cycle Trail

West Coast Wilderness Cycle Trail

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Wedged between the snow capped peaks of the Southern Alps and the Tasman Sea is the 140km West Coast Wilderness Trail. Weaving through the dense rainforests, glacial rivers, lakes and wetlands, a series of smooth flowing off-road tracks takes you from Ross to Greymouth.

Following the path of long-gone railways, logging trams, and water races from the mining days, you’ll soak up colourful stories from the past.

Our expert guides will show you the trail’s best sights such as gold rush relics, wildlife, and hidden natural wonders.

You’ll also have the option to take a trip on the TranzAlpine, one of the world’s most spectacular train journeys.

Character-filled towns, atmospheric accommodation and friendly welcomes are all part of the package, as is the passion and local knowledge of our crew.

Grading – Introductory to moderate 2
The West Coast Wilderness Trail is graded introductory to moderate. You will be cycling on a mix of wide trails, narrow water races and boardwalk with some undulating hills. You will need a reasonable level of fitness and we suggest 2 hours of cycling per week for the three months leading up to your trip. We recommend training on compacted gravel trails, and completing a multi-day ride prior to your trip to get used to being in the saddle for long periods of time. The more training you have done on hills and on compacted gravel, the more enjoyable your trip will be.

About Your Leader
Our guides are one of our biggest assets and we pride ourselves on their level of quality and high standards. Once the trip reaches 8 people, we provide you with two of our expert guides to maximise your enjoyment and overall experience. You’ll know you’re in safe hands as all of our guides are certified in first aid and CPR and many of them are trained bike mechanics. They come from all walks of life but our guides have a common desire to give you the best possible experience, fun and lots of fond memories to take home with you.

Trip Name
West Coast Wilderness Cycle Trail
Heritage Accomodation Similar to a B&B, these family-owned heritage accommodations are rich in local character, clean, comfortable and run by hosts that help add to your experience. Most rooms are en suited, however, due to the heritage nature of these buildings, on occasion there may be shared bathrooms. Hotels Hotels range from 3 to 4 stars and provide a quality, comfortable and relaxed nights stay. Motels  Often family run, motels range from 3 to 4 stars and provide access to local living thanks to your hosts. The hospitality is generous and their local knowledge is invaluable. Where possible, we choose locations that add to your experience. Lodge Accomodation Don't be fooled by the word lodge. Enjoy the class, charm and character of these locally run accommodations and dine in-house at the pub or restaurant attached.


Day 1 - Day 1 Christchurch to Hokitika - 33km Cycle
Your adventure begins with the drive inland across the picturesque Canterbury Plains, and across Arthur’s Pass with its towering, snow-capped peaks. On the west side of the Southern Alps, we reach the old gold town of Ross, backed by ranges cloaked in native bush. After a late lunch, we’ll saddle up for our first ride on the West Coast Wilderness Trail. A stretch of rail trail leads to Treetop Walkway (optional) where you can see Lake Mahinapua’s rainforest and wetlands from on high. We’ll then continue cruising through to Hokitika, a loveable little town fronted by a dramatic beach and famous for pounamu (greenstone) and other arts & crafts. And sunsets. Two nights here won’t feel like enough. Cycling distance: 33km/22 milesMeals: L,D
Day 2 - Day 2 Hokitika to Lake Kaniere - 40km Cycle
Our ride today takes us inland through rural country to reach the bush-lined Kaniere water race – always a favourite for its flowing riding and babbling waters. Nestled in the forested foothills, Lake Kaniere is a grand sight indeed. We’ll follow it shores to reach the small township of Kokatahi where we’ll stop for a picnic lunch. Hokitika Gorge is up next. A short walkway offers a chance to see its granite boulders and swirling, surreal turquoise waters from many angles. From there, we’ll drive back to Hokitika where there’ll be time to explore the town some more and hopefully enjoy another West Coast sunset. Enjoy dinner of your choice in one of the town’s many restaurants and pubs. Cycling distance: 40km/24 milesMeals: B,L
Day 3 - Day 3 Lake Kaniere to Kumara - 55km Cycle
Today we drive back to Lake Kaniere and continue our ride through the amazing bush trails of this cycleway. Firstly on rural roads and then the dedicated trail that takes us to the coffee stop at Milltown, home of saw-milling in earlier times. The trail crosses a swing bridge and then a kilometre of switchback climbing takes us to the highpoint and more superb riding. From here it's mainly downhill, as we follow water races, bush tracks and reservoir roads taking in the spectacular views as we gradually descend to our overnight at Kumara and the beautiful historic hotel that is our accommodation. Cycle Distance: Lake Kaniere to Kumara - 55km / 34milesMeals: B,L,D
Day 4 - Day 4 Kumara to Punakaiki - 30km Cycle
Our final day on the Wilderness Trail see us riding north to Greymouth on a combination of riverside and coastal pathways. The old road and rail bridge is just one highlight as we head towards the town centre. After a café lunch, there’s time for a stroll around the town or an optional visit to the historic Monteith's Brewery. In the afternoon we drive the stunning coastal highway to explore Paparoa National Park. First, we’ll explore the Pororari River with its dramatic limestone gorge, then take the Truman Track through striking sub-tropical forest to reach a rugged beach. Our final walk is the leisurely stroll around Punakaiki’s Dolomite Point, famous for its Pancake Rocks and blow thundering holes. We’ll stay overnight in Punakaiki, a fitting finale for our final group dinner and reflection on our West Coast adventure. Cycling distance: 30km/19 milesMeals: B,L,D
Day 5 - Day 5 Punakaiki to Christchurch - 25km Cycle
Leaving the West Coast behind us, we’ll begin our journey back towards Christchurch. Before we cross the alps, we’ll get dropped off for one last ride along quiet roads to reach Moana on the shores of Lake Brunner. With luck there’ll be time for a refreshing dip before lunch! For those who choose the train journey, we board the TranzAlpine, rated as one of the top train rides in the world, for an unforgettable journey across the Southern Alps and across the Canterbury Plains back to Christchurch. For the rest of us, we'll drive back via Arthur's Pass to arrive in Christchurch in the early evening. Cycling distance: 25km/15 miles Note: Please let us know at the time of booking whether you wish to reserve a seat on the TranzAlpine train.Meals: B
Day 6 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

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    • Explore wild coast, lakes and rainforest –backed by the mighty Southern Alps
    • Encounter unique, beautiful birdlife
    • See Punakaiki’s incredible pancake rocks
    • Stay at Kumara’s historic Theatre Royal Hotel
    • Explore the Hokitika Gorge, Pororari River & Truman Tracks – three West Coast must-do’s
    • Wander the Treetop Walkway through the canopy (optional)
    • Travel on the world-renowned TranzAlpine train through Arthur’s Pass National Park (optional)