Easy - Intermediate
Take a Great Ride on the wild side amidst rainforest, tumbling rivers, unspoiled lakes and beaches backdropped by the mighty Southern Alps.
Dramatic natural and human history is revealed around every bend on this Ngā Haerenga Great Ride of New Zealand retracing old packhorse tracks, tramlines, railways and goldmining water races – now connected with new, flowing singletrack. Taking in the historic towns of Greymouth, Kumara, Hokitika and Ross, it offers deep immersion in the Coast’s world-famous scenery as well as a journey stretching back in time to the Māori pounamu (greenstone) and the gold rush eras.
The West Coast Wilderness Trail is divided up into four sections that make captivating day rides or can be completed in full over several days.
The coast’s largest town, Greymouth, is an atmospheric starting point for the journey along the wild Tasman Sea Coast, past tranquil, bird-filled wetlands and onward to the picturesque town of Kumara.
Nature-lovers are in for a treat as this Great Ride ventures deeper into the wilderness and over a low pass to meet the Arahura River and peaceful Lake Kaniere, encircled by lush native forest.
At the Cool Little Town of Hokitika, riders can admire lovingly restored old buildings, local craft galleries, and spectacular sunsets from the driftwood-strewn beach. The cycle trail continues through to the old gold town of Ross taking in an intriguing tramline and various waterways crossed by significant historic bridges.
The Southern Alps are a constant companion along this immersive and relatively easy ride. E-bike-friendly and well supported with shuttles and tours, it’s arguably the best way to explore this fascinating part of the West Coast.
A detailed description of this Great Ride, including maps and more information, can be found here.
The trail is well serviced by local companies offering bike hire, tours, luggage transfers and shuttles to and from this Great Ride. Official partners are listed on the official West Coast Wilderness Trail(opens in new window) and Great Rides of New Zealand(opens in new window) websites, and include Kiwi Journeys(opens in new window), West Coast Cycle and Tours(opens in new window), Adventure South NZ(opens in new window), Escape By Cycle(opens in new window), Tuatara Tours and Cycle Journeys.
There is plenty of accommodation close to the trail in Greymouth, Kumara, Hokitika and Ross, and smaller settlements along the trail. These range from hotels, motels, restored historic places, holiday parks and campsites. Accommodation providers partnered with the trail are listed on the official West Coast Wilderness Trail(opens in new window) and Great Rides of New Zealand websites.
West Coast Wilderness Trail(opens in new window)
Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails(opens in new window)