The West Coast Wilderness Trail & Beyond tour features the purpose built 130km West Coast Wilderness Trail as well as a collection of West Coast cycle trails totaling 80km that Pure Trails have put together that showcase the South Island’s dramatic upper West Coast region, with 210km 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 210km West Coast Wilderness Trail & Beyond tour features 26% cycling on sealed roads, 15% cycling on gravel roads, and 59% 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 cycle rides at Tauranga Bay, Waiuta and Moana
- Learn the gold mining, logging and farming history of our early pioneers
- Explore the small towns of Punakaiki, Reefton and Blackball
- Visit a dairy farm and share morning tea with the Coates family
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. We then head to the Hokitika Gorge, where the vivid turquoise waters will take your breath away. From here there is the opportunity to enjoy a cycle on a sealed road that gently descends across farmland to the township of Kokatahi. This is a good opportunity to get familiar with your bike before we commence the West Coast Wilderness Trail. We transfer to a elevated ridge overlooking the ocean and mountains and settle into our accommodation for the next two nights.
Cycle Distance: 18.5km
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 Charleston, and on to Cape Foulwind. Enjoy riding along the beautiful coastline at Tauranga Bay on the west coast cycle trails. We then travel a short distance to our accommodation for the evening and dine at a pub full of warm West Coast hospitality.
Cycle Distance: 42km
Day 5 Cape Foulwind – Moana
Today we head inland via the Buller Gorge to Reefton, the first town in NZ to have a public electricity supply in 1888. Enjoy a coffee stop here before travelling a short distance to the site of the historic gold mining town of Waiuta, regarded as the Coast’s last great gold strike. Many rusty relics remain and there is time to look around before we begin our cycle ride of the day. Our cycle ride takes us gently off the plateau through native forest, and out across the open farmland of the Grey Valley. The next cycle ride then follows river terraces of the Grey River, past the Pike River memorial towards Blackball. Enjoy a refreshment stop at the legendary ‘Formerly The Blackball Hilton’ Hotel, before we make our way to the village of Moana and our accommodation overlooking Lake Brunner.
Cycle Distance: 35.5km
Day 6 Moana – Christchurch
Today we travel a short distance to another stunning lake hidden amongst the bush, well off the beaten track, and enjoy the last cycle ride of the tour. The route takes us along quiet rural roads, featuring a mix of native bush and open farmland, towards the mountains of the Southern Alps. Visit the Coates family on their dairy farm at Haupiri and enjoy a delicious morning tea and a tour of the milking shed. We return to Moana for lunch. 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: 20km
1 Sep 2019
21 Oct 2019
12 Nov 2019
3 Dec 2019
14 Dec 2019
14 Jan 2020
28 Jan 2020
18 Feb 2020
8 Mar 2020
17 Mar 2020
31 Mar 2020
28 Apr 2020
What’s included in the tour package?
- 5 nights twinshare ensuite accommodation
- 5 evening meals; 4 lunches; 5 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
- West Coast Wilderness Trail Maintenance Contribution fee
- Farm tour at Haupiri
- all transport from/to Christchurch
- Goods & Services Tax of 15%
Not included in the tour package:
Our Guiding Team
Tour Leader (since 2018)
Megan has a background in interior design and art tutoring as well as a restaurateur. She currently runs a design consultancy and an Air B&B by the beach in Christchurch, and is revelling in supporting, hosting and sometimes taking her guests out for adventures.
Megan has travelled extensively herself, both within NZ and abroad, and has just completed the Old Ghost Road (mountain bike trail) for the second time. Megan looks forward to the opportunity to show off NZ and share her experience, passion and love of the outdoors with PureTrails.
Tour Leader (since 2011)
John has a background in human resources and has worked for mining companies in NZ, Australia & Papua New Guinea in the health and safety field, as well as a stint as a commissioned officer in the NZ territorial army. Nowadays John has semi retired to a lifestyle block near Rangiora where he aims to breed highland cattle with his wife Julie. Outside of work John has always been a bit of an adventurer, sportsman and philosopher, enjoying mountain biking, tramping, swimming and playing bagpipes.
Tour Leader (since 2018)
John has had a long career in the NZ Police, with time spent in the Search & Rescue & Alpine Cliff Rescue teams. During this period John spent a lot of time rock climbing and caving all over the South Island, leading to an enduring love of the NZ outdoors.
Outside of work John enjoys getting out in the hills hiking and cycling as well as swimming. John played rugby and water polo and still enjoys following these sports. He looks forward to meeting lots of people and sharing his love of the outdoors with PureTrails.