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5 Day West Coast Wilderness Supported Cycle Trail

About 183 km Cycling Distance

Days
5

Pricing From
$2595

Difficulty

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Overview

Nestled between the snow kissed peaks of the Southern Alps and the Tasman Sea is one of the most diverse, rugged and picturesque landscapes of the South Island. Weaving through the dense rainforests, glacial rivers, lakes and wetlands is the scenic West Coast Wilderness Trail, a graded cycle trail which has been formed from several tracks formed by the first gold rush miners, as well as extensive water races, logging tramways and fascinating historic railway lines. This new trail makes it possible for us to visit some of the wildest and most amazing natural settings along the West Coast and cyclists of all abilities can enjoy all this region has to offer.

This supported trip along the West Coast Wilderness Trail will take you past all the best highlights along all 140km. We will also be able to visit some nearby must-see attractions by making slight detours here and there. Starting in Christchurch, we make our way across the Southern Alps via Arthurs Pass and start our ride along the peaceful back country trails around Lake Brunner. We give the bikes a break and enjoy a treetop canopy walk before continuing along the coast to Hokitika. Hereafter, we will travel inland to the superb setting of Lake Kaniere snuggled up against the Southern Alps. After making our way along some swing bridges and switchback climbs, it's really all downhill until you reach your accommodation at the wonderfully restored historical Theatre Royal Hotel in Kumara. Once you get here, it's time to sample some of the finest offerings at Monteaths Brewery as you make your way to Greymouth. We then return to Christchurch, where the trip is concluded, board the Tranzalpine Express and enjoy one of the greatest train rides in the world.

Trip Highlights

  • Take in the rugged coastlines, pristine lakes and alpine landscapes of the West Coast
  • Admire NZ's native birds and forest from a Treetop Walkway
  • Walk the unmissable trails of the Pororari River and Truman Track
  • Spend a night in a charming historic hotel
  • Explore the ancient Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki
  • Travel on the TranzAlpine Express, one of the top 10 train journeys in the world

West Coast Wilderness Cycle Trail, New Zealand

West Coast Wilderness Cycle Trail, New Zealand

West Coast Wilderness Cycle Trail

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Christchurch to HokitikaCycle Distance 33km

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. In the evening we are hosted by local couple, Rob and Col for a paddock to plate home cooked dining experience in their architecturally designed eco home. Cycling distance: 33km/22 miles Accommodation: Beachfront Hotel, Hokitika

Meals:  L,D

Day 2Lake Kaniere & Hokitika GorgeCycle Distance 40km

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 miles Accommodation: Beachfront Hotel, Hokitika

Meals:  B,L

Day 3Hokitika to KumaraCycle Distance 55km

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 / 34miles Accommodation: Theatre Royal Hotel, Kumara

Meals:  B,L,D

Day 4Kumara to PunakaikiCycle Distance 30km

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 thundering blow 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 miles Accommodation: Scenic Punakaiki Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

Day 5Punakaiki to Lake Brunner, TranzAlpine Express to ChristchurchCycle Distance 25km

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

Cost per person

Jul 2024 - Jun 2025

  • Trip Price: NZ$2,595
  • High Season: NZ$2,795

Extras

  • Single Supplement: NZ$595
  • Bike Hire: NZ$150
  • E-Bike Hire: NZ$500
  • TranzAlpine Train (Moana to Christchurch): NZD$249*
  • Holiday Season surcharge: NZ$50

*ask about an upgrade to ScenicPlus

Rates are correct at the time of publishing but are subject to change without prior notice.

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Christchurch to HokitikaCycle Distance 33km

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. In the evening we are hosted by local couple, Rob and Col for a paddock to plate home cooked dining experience in their architecturally designed eco home. Cycling distance: 33km/22 miles Accommodation: Beachfront Hotel, Hokitika

Meals:  L,D

Day 2Lake Kaniere & Hokitika GorgeCycle Distance 40km

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 miles Accommodation: Beachfront Hotel, Hokitika

Meals:  B,L

Day 3Hokitika to KumaraCycle Distance 55km

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 / 34miles Accommodation: Theatre Royal Hotel, Kumara

Meals:  B,L,D

Day 4Kumara to PunakaikiCycle Distance 30km

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 thundering blow 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 miles Accommodation: Scenic Punakaiki Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

Day 5Punakaiki to Lake Brunner, TranzAlpine Express to ChristchurchCycle Distance 25km

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

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