trip
NEW for 2023 - K2 Trek with Victor SaundersView trip details
3
moderate
Activities
  • 6 day cycle trail
Accommodation
  • 5 nights hotel/motel
Meals
  • 5 Dinners
  • 4 Lunches
  • 5 Breakfasts

6 Days$2990USD

 
 
Trip Code: BWC

West Coast Wilderness Trip highlights


  • Ride both the West Coast Wilderness and the new coastal Kawatiri Trails
  • Enjoy the spectacular Tranzalpine train journey across the Southern Alps from Christchurch to Greymouth (optional)
  • Experience rain forest, wild seas, mountains, lakes and rivers - all in one location
  • Relax on a sunset cruise on the Lake Mahinapua waterway
  • Explore the Hokitika Gorge, Pororari River Gorge & the Truman Track – 3 West Coast must-do’s
  • Experience one of the world’s best GlowWorm displays in a pristine and untamed natural wilderness environment.
  • Spot wildlife and birdlife from the beautiful Cape Foulwind walkway
  • Taste and tour at the Reefton Distilling Company
  • Enjoy premium accommodation and gourmet meals

Why Book With Us

  • Pioneers in group cycle tours since 1992
  • Stay at the charming Theatre Royal Hotel and spend a night in Punakaiki
  • Choose from a large selection of dates
  • Our support vehicle is always nearby if you are feeling tired
  • Flexibility to change the itinerary on tour if effected by weather or trail closures

The west coast of the South Island is famed for its untamed wilderness, the highest mountains, crystal clear rivers, turbulent seas, lush rain forests, glaciers, geological landforms and notably few people. This 6 day guided tour explores the very best of the coastline between Ross and Westport, following the newest of cycle trails and allowing time off the bike to admire its diverse natural beauty.

Meeting in Christchurch, this trip sets away with a spectacular train journey (optional) over the Southern Alps where we embark on the West Coast Wilderness trail. Following historic tramways, crossing railway and suspension bridges, we ride alongside rivers, lakes and water races, visiting the Lake Mahinapau waterway and the vivid blue Hokitika Gorge. Next up is Punakaiki known for its unusual Pancake Rocks and the impressive Pororari River Gorge, which leads us to incredible coastal cycling and the newly built Kawatiri Trail. We visit the vast underworld in Charleston to see the large glowworm caves and have the chance to spot fur seals, penguins and dolphins from our walk at Cape Foulwind.

Hand-picked accommodation, delicious food and local hospitality together with knowledgeable guides will make this tour the ultimate west coast experience.


Your adventure begins with the world class train journey across the Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine train (optional). We meet early in Christchurch and head to the railway station. On the west side of the Southern Alps, we reach the historic gold town of Ross, backed by ranges cloaked in native bush. After a starting photo in the official West Coast Wilderness picture frame, we’ll saddle up for our first ride along the trail. On leaving the town we cross the Totara River over a railway bridge dating back to 1908 and follow the old tramway through native bush, wetlands and mill sites to reach Lake Mahinapua. We will be greeted by our welcoming hosts at our first night's accommodation and then we'll join a sunset cruise. Here we will experience the serene beauty of the Mahinapua waterways with the backdrop of Aoraki/Mt Cook and the Southern Alps. A delicious evening meal will later be served by our hosts. Cycling distance: 29km/18 miles Accommodation : Lake Mahinapua Waterway Accommodation

Meals:  D

After breakfast we head towards Hokitika and then ride 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 its shores to reach the small township of Kokatahi where we’ll stop for a picnic lunch. Hokitika Gorge is up next. A short walkway crossing 2 impressive swing bridges offers a chance to see its granite boulders and swirling, surreal turquoise waters from many angles. From there, we’ll drive back to Hokitika, a quirky little town known for its arts and crafts, pounamu (greenstone) and glassware. There will be time to explore the small town and take a walk along the dramatic wild beach with its driftwood sculptures and incredible sunsets. Cycling distance: 44km/27 miles Accommodation : Beachfront Hotel, Hokitika

Meals:  B,L,D

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 - 50km/31miles Accommodation : Theatre Royal Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

Our final day on the Wilderness Trail see us riding on the old tramway out of Kumara and then north to Greymouth on a combination of riverside and coastal pathways. The views of the Southern Alps back down the coast can be impressive on a clear day. 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, with a 3.5km walk up to a suspension bridge, returning the same way. Then we take a leisurely stroll around Punakaiki’s Dolomite Point, famous for its Pancake Rocks and thundering blow holes. Cycling distance: 28km/17 miles Accommodation : Ocean View Retreat, Punakaiki

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we head north out of Punakaiki following the trail to the Truman Track, where a short walk takes us through striking sub-tropical forest to reach a rugged beach. We then drive along the quiet coastal road with vantage points high above the sandy beaches and wild sea and we wind our way inland to the sleepy west coast township of Charleston. Here we join an excursion to experience spectacular calcite formations, water-sculpted canyons and one of the world's best glowworm displays. It starts by taking a rainforest train through the Nile River Canyon and then guided by the light of head torches, a walk deep into the cave system. You can explore the vast Te Ananui caves and be awed by the magical array of glowworm galaxies! To join this tour you must be sure footed, be able to walk comfortably for 2 hours and be able to climb 135 steps. Back out in daylight, we drive to the famous surfing beach at Tauranga Bay for our last walk of the day along the panoramic Cape Foulwind walkway. The easy track takes us high above rocky coastal bluffs to a fur seal breeding colony and along to the Cape Foulwind lighthouse. Our final night is spent out on the Cape, with wonderful ocean views and dramatic sunsets, a fitting finale with our final group dinner and reflection on our West Coast adventure. Walking distance: approx 5km/3miles Accommodation : Omau Settlers Lodge, Cape Foulwind

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we will set away to test drive the new Kawatiri Cycle Trail from Tauranga Bay to Westport. Some sections are yet to be completed, but follow quiet roads and we get to sample the breathtaking route meandering alongside the crashing sea, through native forest and wetland, over suspension bridges and boardwalks. From Tauranga Bay the trail climbs gently for 3km to the lighthouse and then meets the road to continue downhill to Carters Beach, the final 5.5km section takes us off-road again to the Buller River and onto the centre of Westport. Here we grab a coffee before we leave the West Coast behind and begin our journey back to Christchurch. Firstly we follow the mighty Buller (Kawatiri) River twisting inland through the bush clad Buller Gorge to Reefton. We have time for lunch and to explore this small gold mining town, famous for having the first electrical lighting in the Southern Hemisphere. More recently it's been known for Reefton Distilling Company, producers of some of New Zealand's most awarded gin, and here we enjoy a tour and tasting. Onwards we cross over the Southern Alps via the Lewis Pass and enjoy the scenic mountainous drive back to arrive in Christchurch in the early evening. Cycling distance: 20km

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • Tasty breakfasts (x5), lunches (x4), all dinners (x5) catered to all dietary requirements
  • 5 nights comfortable motel/lodge ensuite accommodation on twin share basis
  • Experienced guides who handle all the hard bits and share epic stories (2 guides on groups of 8 or more)
  • Tasty nutritious snacks, drinks and treats
  • Lake Mahinapua Waterways Sunset Cruise
  • Standard Bike hire with helmet
  • Full vehicle support along the trail including trailer for luggage
  • Pre departure information kit to help you plan and prepare
  • Concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation

  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • All beverages, other than breakfast
  • Optional activities (eg. TranzAlpine train, Monteith's Brewery tour in Greymouth, Charleston glowworm excursion)
  • Electric Bike hire
  • International or domestic flights and taxes
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own bike drink bottle)
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)

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.


Accommodation


Bike information


Trail Surface


Departure dates

* Guaranteed status denotes minimum trip numbers have been met, however the trips operation will be subject to there being no COVID-19 restrictions or other government travel advisories. Please contact us for further information.


Dates or itinerary don't fit?

Create a custom made itinerary for the perfect adventure. Choose when you travel, what you see and where you go.

Total Priceper person from

$2990USD

Options & Supplements*
  • e-Bike Rental (subject to availability)USD$400
  • Single Supplement - Limited to 2 per departureUSD$580
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Premium West Coast Wilderness and Kawatiri Cycle trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


West Coast Wilderness Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Award Winning Adventures

Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

Thoughtful Travel

Our vision is to leave the world a better place by following our sustainable active outdoor travel charter. All our adventures are 100% carbon offset and our Regenerative 2030 Project aims to integrate ‘regenerative’ projects into every one of our global operations by 2030.

Ultimate Value

 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

West Coast Wilderness Videos

West Coast Wilderness Trail Video

Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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