trip
Plan your active adventure.View relaxed booking conditions.
5
Moderate
Activities
  • self-guided walk
Accommodation
  • 1 night motel, 2 nights Department of Conservation Great Walk Hut
Meals
  • 2 Dinners
  • 2 Breakfasts

4 Days$USD

Hit the trails with confidence

Flexible Cancellations
Stress free booking, learn more about our flexible terms

COVID-19 safety measures
Read our Covid-19 travel policy and what we're doing to keep you safe

Remote adventures
means social distancing comes naturally

Small groups only
Guided group sizes are strictly limited to maximum 16 people, average of 8-10


 
 
Trip Code: GPP

Trip highlights


  • Hike the newest of New Zealand's dedicated Great Walks
  • Cross the Paparoa Range for unbeatable views of the wild west coast
  • Honour the memory of those lost to the Pike River Mine
  • Admire dramatic landforms moulded from limestone

The Paparoa Track is the most recent addition to New Zealand's suite of Department of Conservation Great Walks. Passing through a national park and conservation area of the same name, the track is in a region where subtropical rainforest meets cool climate vegetation and landforms are the result of sculpted limestone. Beginning inland near the tiny settlement of Blackball, once significant as a coal mining centre with a colourful history, walk along the spectacular Paparoa Range escarpment with striking views of uninterrupted wilderness in one direction and the wild west coast ocean in another. Pass above the former Pike River coal mine, pausing to honour the memory of its tragic story. Descend from the alpine zone to lush forest, through magical river gorges and along an original gold prospector's track to finish on the coast at Punakaiki, famous for its pancake-like rock formations. Sleep in strategically located purpose-built huts along the way. This self-guided walk has everything uniquely west coast and more.


Make your own way to either Westport or Greymouth on the west coast and check-in to your accommodation any time after 2:00pm. You should allow enough time to purchase your lunch and snack supplies for the next three days. There are conveniently located supermarkets in both centres that are usually open until about 8:00pm daily. Your meal pack with breakfasts and dinners for the walk, plus cooking pot and accessories, should be waiting for you at the accommodation.

Meals:  Nil

Meet your shuttle vehicle and transfer to Smoke-ho trailhead, at the southern end of the Paparoa Track. Pass through the quirky village of Blackball on the way, once a thriving settlement based on coal mining with a colourful history of unions and radicalism. It was also the terminus for a railway line from 1910 to 1966. The first and steepest section of the track climbs from about 400m above sea level to around 1100m above sea level and will challenge your legs. It initially follows the historic Croesus Track, with evidence of gold mining activities from the early 1900's, through beech and podocarp forest. Pass historic Ces Clark Hut before emerging from the forest into alpine scrub and tussock. From the open escarpment it is possible on a clear day to see Aoraki Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain, to the south and the Tasman Sea to the west. Overnight at Moonlight Tops Hut, with panoramic views across Paparoa National Park. NOTE: For anyone wanting to take the pace a little more slowly, an additional day can be added to the trip, staying tonight at Ces Clark Hut and continuing to Moonlight Tops Hut the following day. A side trip to Garden Gully (45 mins return), an old gold mining site, can be added if staying at Ces Clark Hut. A side trip to Croesus Knob (1 hr 10 mins return) can then be added the following day, for spectacular views. This generally adds too much time to the first day for walkers doing the trip in 3 days and is recommended for a 4 day trip only.

Meals:  D

Wake to the feeling you are on top of the world this morning. Enjoy this sublime location before setting off on the track once again. Walking along the escarpment of the Paparoa Range with expansive views of steep limestone cliffs and impenetrable wilderness, with the ocean far beyond, is truly breathtaking. Admire the skills of those who built this incredible track as you hug the ridgeline. Take a moment also to admire the tenacity of those who worked the coal mines in such a rugged environment, remembering the men who lost their lives in the Pike River Mine tragedy. Further along the track, descend from the escarpment through podocarp forest to reach Pororari Hut, the destination for today. NOTE: The Pike 29 Memorial Track, currently under construction, has been named in honour of the twenty nine men killed in 2010 when a tunnel in the Pike River Mine collapsed. At the families' wishes, the mine site and surrounding area has become part of Paparoa National Park. Once the track opens it will join the main Paparoa Track with options then to take a side trip to visit the planned interpretation centre and memorial at the former mine site.

Meals:  B,D

The track today is all downhill, following the Pororari River Valley and Gorge. Initially following an old track from an attempt at early settlement in the valley, descend through beech forest and sidle along a magnificent gorge sculpted from limestone. Pass an impressive suspension bridge, worthy of a photo, leading off to the Inland Pack Track - an historic trail from the gold mining era. Continue through the stunning lower Pororari River Gorge, following the river as it ebbs and flows into deep pools and around enormous rocks. Beautiful rainforest and nikau palms give a sense of the almost tropical as you finish the walk. Meet your shuttle transfer here for the return to your starting point at either Westport or Greymouth.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 1 night motel accommodation in Greymouth (twinshare) with private bathroom
  • 2 nights Department of Conservation (DOC) Great Walk hut in multishare bunk rooms with shared outside toilet
  • 2 breakfasts, 2 dinners (Radix Nutrition meals)
  • Cooking pot and dishwash kit
  • Hot drinks pack including tea/coffee/hot chocolate
  • Drinking water (available from hotels and DOC huts)
  • Rubbish bag, toilet paper
  • Route notes and map
  • Personal Locator Beacon (to be returned at end of trip)
  • Return shared transfers from Greymouth to trailheads
  • $20 per person donation to Paparoa Wildlife Trust (see www.pwt.org.nz)

  • Travel to Greymouth on Day 1 and from Greymouth after trip arrangements end on Day 4
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary and trail snacks
  • Drinks other than water, tea/coffee/hot chocolate - good drinking water is available at each night's accommodation
  • Optional activities, extras and upgrades
  • Items of a personal nature (eg. laundry, shopping, internet)
  • Excess luggage storage (can be arranged at Greymouth for a small fee)
  • Hiking pack, sleeping bag, bowl & cutlery (there are limited numbers of these available for hire; please request in advance)
  • Vehicle relocation between trailheads if self-driving (we can arrange this for additional cost - note that special conditions apply to rental vehicles)
  • Car parking in Greymouth if self-driving and using the included transfer service between trailheads
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)

Accommodation


Trail Surface


Departure dates

Daily departures 1 October to 30 April

Notes

Note:
Sleeping bags, hiking packs and eating utensils are available for hire. An extra day on the track can also be added if you prefer to take things more slowly. Additional cost applies.
1
We recommend minimum 2 people for this trip for safety reasons. However, solo travellers with good hiking experience in remote areas with changeable weather will find it achievable.
2
The trip is based out of Greymouth, with transfers leaving and returning to the same place. If you are self-driving, we can arrange vehicle relocation between trailheads for you. Additional cost applies. Please note that we can only relocate RENTAL cars from specific rental car dealers as there are strict rules on other people driving your rental vehicle. Please ask for details and we will be happy to help
3
Upgrade to 4 star accommodation in either Westport or Greymouth is an option, subject to availability. Additional cost applies

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

$USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Reduction for summer (Oct - Apr) - youth 11 - 17 yrs (international)USD$30
  • Backpack hire size 50 - 75LUSD$38
  • Sleeping bag hireUSD$45
  • Reduction off seasons (May - Sep) - youth 11 - 17 yrs (international)USD$60
  • Reduction all seasons - youth 11 - 17 yrs (NZ resident)USD$60
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Paparoa Track Self-Guided Hike 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.


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

Responsible travel is at the heart of every program we offer as a fundamental and long held philosophy. When you book one of our 100% carbon offset adventures you’re supporting true sustainability in the protection of local communities, natural environments and wildlife.

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.

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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