The West Coast Wilderness Trail & Beyond tour features the 130km West Coast Wilderness Trail as well as the new Kawatiri Coastal Trail around the stunning Cape Foulwind coast that Pure Trails have put together that showcase the South Island’s dramatic upper West Coast region, with 200km of cycling in total.
This trip takes in the upper west coast featuring lots of additional sightseeing at places of geological and historical interest. It is a great trip for those wanting to get off the tourist trail and see the wild west coast, as well as enjoying some great West Coast cycle trails along the way.
The 200km West Coast Wilderness Trail & Beyond tour features 10% cycling on gravel roads, and 90% cycling on a purpose built gravel cycle trails. Overall the riding is rated Grade 1.
Our vehicle support available throughout the bike tour. Refer to our Level of Difficulty gradings for more information.
West Coast Wilderness Trail & Beyond Tour Highlights
- Cycle the West Coast Wilderness Trail, featuring native forest and wild coastline
- Climb to the treetops and admire the forest from above at the Treetop Walkway
- Visit the spectacular Hokitika Gorge
- Enjoy cycling the stunning wild coastline on the new Kawatiri Coastal Trail
- Learn the gold mining, logging and farming history of our early pioneers
- Explore the small towns of Punakaiki, Charleston & Westport
Day 1 Christchurch – Hokitika
The West Coast Wilderness Trail & Beyond tour gets underway with a very scenic drive over Arthur’s Pass to the west coast. Our first ride at Lake Kaniere on a very scenic ride around the side of the lake through native bush. This is a good opportunity to get familiar with your bike before we commence the West Coast Wilderness Trail. We then head to the Hokitika Gorge, where the vivid turquoise waters will take your breath away. Take a walk here to take it all in. We transfer to a elevated ridge overlooking the ocean and mountains and settle into our accommodation for the next two nights.
Cycle Distance: 18km
Day 2 Hokitika
This morning we transfer to the small gold mining town of Ross and commence our ride of the West Coast Wilderness Trail, following an old railway line north. Our morning tea stop is at the West Coast Treetop walkway, where you can enjoy a walk along a 450m steel platform suspended 20 metres high, giving you an amazingly different perspective of the forest. The trail then heads inland through native bush featuring towering rimu trees, and on to the roaring coast at Hokitika. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the beach and time to explore the township of Hokitika – the heart of the coast. Our final section of the ride follows an old tram line along the Hokitika River.
Cycle Distance: 38.5km
Day 3 Hokitika – Kumara
The trail today features virgin rainforest and massive Podocarp trees as well as serene canals and streams. The first section features a stunning water race to Lake Kaniere. From here the trail follows a road across farmland and through native bush to the Arahura River, where the trail leaves the road and climbs along a well benched switch back trail to ‘Cowboy Paradise’. Continue through the forest and over the spectacular swingbridges to the Kawhaka Pass. From here the trail descends the Kawhaka Valley to the picturesque hydro canals. Enjoy a picnic lunch before the final section of trail through to the historic mining town of Kumara. Here galleries occupy refurbished shops and our accommodation at the recently restored historic Theatre Royal Hotel, circa 1876, takes pride of place on the main street, the West Coast`s only restored miners’ hotel, and once world-renowned theatre.
Cycle Distance: 58km
Day 4 Kumara – Cape Foulwind
Today we finish the West Coast Wilderness Trail, cycling across farmland, through native bush, beside the roaring coastline and finally along the stop banks of the Grey River to the centre of Greymouth. After morning tea we head north along the famed coastal road to Punakaiki. View the famous Pancake Rocks. Back in the support vehicle we continue north to Westport where there is time to explore this township before we transfer to our accommodation for the next two evenings at Cape Foulwind. We dine at a pub full of warm West Coast hospitality.
Cycle Distance: 28km
Day 5 Cape Foulwind
Today we ride the new Kawatiri Coastal Trail, firstly through a lush nikau palm glade and out along the coast past Carters Beach. The trail continues to Cape Foulwind and alongside the stunning Tauranga Bay and Okari Lagoon coastlines, before turning inland and through a forest clad wetland all the way to Charleston. The coastline of this mild region of the upper west coast is very attractive and is steeped in gold-mining history of our pioneers. In the afternoon there is ample time to relax at our accommodation and enjoy a walk along the beach.
Cycle Distance: 52km
Day 6 Cape Foulwind – Christchurch
This morning we head back down the beautiful coast road, stopping at Punakaiki for an opportunity to enjoy a serene kayak up a quiet river, or a bush walk or a short bike ride through the bush on the Paparoa Trail. We then head to Greymouth. From here you can opt to take the TranzAlpine train* over Arthur’s Pass and back to Christchurch, arriving at approximately 6.30pm, or travel back in our vehicle.
Cycle Distance: 6km
* The TranzAlpine Train timetable is operating on a limited service post covid-19, so may not be available on your date of travel. Their timetable continues to evolve so it is best to check with them directly to clarify train availability.
24 Jan 2022
21 Feb 2022
11 Apr 2022
23 May 2022
What’s included in the West Coast Wilderness Trail & Beyond tour package?
- 5 nights twinshare ensuite accommodation
- 5 evening meals; 4 lunches; 5 continental breakfasts (indicated by B/L/D in the itinerary)
- fruit, snacks & morning teas on the trail
- the services of a tour leader who provides vehicle support & information
- cycle repair support
- Entry to the West Coast Treetop walk
- all transport from/to Christchurch
- Goods & Services Tax of 15%
Not included in the West Coast Wilderness Trail & Beyond tour package:
- wine; beer; espresso coffees
- lunch on Days 1 & 6
- bike hire ($200) or e-bike hire ($500)
- single accommodation supplement ($400)
- optional TranzAlpine Train from Greymouth to Christchurch Day 6 (from $183)
West Coast Wilderness Trail – Official Partner
PureTrails New Zealand’s is proud to be an Official Partner of the West Coast Wilderness Trail. Membership fees contribute to the marketing and promotion of the trail and allows for development of the trail.