Photo copyright: Jason Blair / www.katabatic.co.nz

West Coast Wilderness Trail

RIDING THE TRAIL

The trail can be equally enjoyed starting from Greymouth or Ross

Greymouth to Kumara, (Grade 2 Easy) 29km

This flat trail starts opposite Greymouth Railway Station and follows the Grey River stop bank out to the coast.

After 7km, you will leave the coast and pass a stone tavern. Riders can enjoy a detour to one of the Coast’s leading attractions, Shantytown, before continuing south, crossing the Taramakau River and inland to the historic gold-mining town of Kumara.

Kumara to Cowboy Paradise, (Grade 2 Easy) 34km

From Kumara the trail gradually climbs to Kawhaka Pass (317m).

Riders pass through native forests, skirt around lakes and follow rushing water races before passing through the Maori-owned Mawhera Reserve and crossing a stunning gorge to a replica western town called Cowboy Paradise.

Cowboy Paradise to Hokitika, (Grade 2 Easy) 36km

From Cowboy Paradise there is a gentle downhill stretch to the Arahura River, followed by a 15-minute climb over Pyramid Hill to Lake Kaniere, a popular boating and picnic destination.

The trail then follows the Kaniere Water Race to Hurunui and then on Lake Kaniere Rd to Hokitika, the wild food capital of New Zealand.

Hokitika to Ross, (Grade 2 Easy) 33km

This final section follows a mix of trail and historic tramline through the stunning Mahinapua Scenic Reserve. Take in the reserve with a course on the waterway with West Coast Scenic Waterways and enjoy a stroll high in the canopy amongst some of New Zealand’s tallest trees at the West Coast Treetops Walk. Complete your journey on the former rail line and historic bridge to the township of Ross.

 

Getting There

State Highway 6 connects the West Coast from Nelson, through Westport, Greymouth, and Hokitika onto the glaciers and through the Haast Pass to Otago.

State Highway 7 through the Lewis Pass and State Highway 73 through the Arthur's Pass provide the east/west routes through the Southern Alps.

By road it is just 3 hours to Christchurch Airport.

The TranzAlpine Express train runs daily between Christchurch and Greymouth and takes approximately four and a half hours.

Air, bus and rental car transport are also widely available.

Visitor Information

Trail Partner

Inspiration, News and Updates

Majestic rugged mountains, spectacular glaciers, wild coastlines, emerald blue lakes - it’s all here and within reach. New Zealand boasts an amazing variety of landscapes and equally amazing biking. This ultimate 14 day adventure offers the perfect opportunity to ride 3 of the famous cycle trails allowing you to achi...

 

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‘Social licence’. You’ll have heard the term and have an idea what it means. But exactly what does it look like in the context of the New Zealand Cycle Trail? Cycle Journeys’ Geoff Gabites provides some perspective. When did you first come across ‘social licence’ and what does it mean to you? The week...
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‘Social licence’. You’ll have heard the term and have an idea what it means. But exactly what does it look like in the context of the New Zealand Cycle Trail? Cycle Journeys’ Geoff Gabites provides some perspective. When did you first come across ‘social licence’ and what does it mean to you? The week...

 

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The historic Mahinapua Creek Railway Bridge has been incorporated into the West Coast Wilderness Trail on the new piece of track that opened on Labour weekend. This new off-road section crosses the Heritage New Zealand category-1 bridge, built in 1905 as part of the Hokitika to Ross railway at a cost of £1748. It w...

 

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Ride the Wilderness is a Mountain Bike Ride on the West Coast Wilderness Trail on Saturday 17th November 2017. Entries are now open for this scenic mountain bike race. This inaugural event offers riders the opportunity to see the West Coast beauty and all it has to offer while racing the fantastic West Coast Wilder...

 

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Regional Economic Development minister Shane Jones has secured $61.7m from Cabinet for the first round of regional development spending. The minister commented that these first regional packages support the regions most neglected by the last government: in Northland, Tairāwhiti-East Coast, Hawke's Bay and Manawat...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: West Coast Wilderness Trail DATE: 3 February 2018 ISSUE: Flood damage - caution required on the trail   Trail Updates - The trail is open and fine to ride. Greymouth Aerodrome/Karoro - The major driftwood and debris has now been removed. There are still some rough patches where ...

 

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Ride the Wilderness is a Mountain Bike Ride on the West Coast Wilderness Trail on Saturday 18th November 2017. This inaugural event offers riders the opportunity to see the West Coast beauty and all it has to offer while racing the fantastic West Coast Wilderness Trail. This super Grade 2 ride and has everything fro...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE:  West Coast Wilderness Trail DATE: 8 November 2017 ISSUE: Trail Diversion in place A minor trail diversion is in place on the Trail near Hurunui Jacks on Lake Kaniere Road from Wednesday 8 November, for a few days to allow Trustpower to prepare for bridge works on a shared structure. T...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE:  West Coast Wilderness Trail DATE: 14 September 2017 ISSUE: From Monday 18th September the Mahinapua Track will be closed at the Mananui Sawmill site. Cyclists will not be able to access the track from SH6. From the Woodstock Road cyclists can enter but will need to turn around at the wetla...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE:  West Coast Wilderness Trail  DATE: 1 August 2017 Taramakau Bridge Alert - Cyclists are urged to take care when negotiating the section of the cycle trail from southern end of the Taramakau Bridge to the new boardwalk at the entry to the Greymouth Kumara Tram. Currently there is intensiv...

 

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TRAIL STATUS UPDATE Due to adverse weather conditions, Trust Power maintenance contractors will continue to work on the area between McPherson Creek and the Trust Power weir access road until 4 March 2016. In the interest of maximising safety and minimising disruption to contractors the roadway containing the Tr...

 

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Congratulations to the West Coast Wilderness Trail on winning the Bikewise NZ's Most Favourite Place to Cycle competition! Paul Sinclair voted for the Kawhaka section of the trail which traverses his very own property. Purchased back in 1976, Paul has always looked to preserve the historic tracks and water races de...

 

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The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail has had a flurry of media coverage over the last few weeks. One of the stories was about Ashley Cassin, a man who most certainly likes a challenge. Ashley who is from the West Coast pledged to ride the entire 301km Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail in one day for Blue September, a month devoted to...

 

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Great progress is being made along the Ross to Ruatapu section of the West Coast Wilderness Trail. We think it might be prudent to mark this indelibly on your Summer horizon. This final section of the trail from Hokitika to Ross is 36km and follows a mix of new trail and historic tramline to the West Coast Treetops Wal...

 

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Jonathan Kennett, Cycling Author
The West Coast Wilderness Trail reveals a lush and vivid landscape, varying from the Tasman Coast to towering forests, intricate water races, mighty rivers and fascinating historic towns dating back to the pioneering gold rush era. JONATHAN KENNETT – Cycling Author