Suggested day rides
Kumara Goldtrails
Start: Kawhaka Canal
Finish: Greymouth
Distance: 45km
Grade: grade 2 / easy
Duration: allow 4+ hours

Follow in the footsteps of the old prospectors as you ride down historic stagecoach routes and alongside canals and reservoirs that are a legacy from the days when gold fever struck and the area teemed with fortune seekers. Scene of New Zealand's last big gold rush in the 1870s, the area is dotted with mining relics and traces of old workings. At the historic town of Kumara you can partake in fine fare at the grand Theatre Royal Hotel before setting off once again to wind along the old Kumara Tramway over 'The Chasm' swing bridge and on through to the Taramakau River. Its relaxed riding from here as you pass through the small settlement of Paroa and then take the coastal route alongside the wild Tasman Sea all the way into Greymouth. The final stretch of trail turns inland along the mighty Grey River taking in many town sights including the famous Flood Wall.

Optional side trips

  • Larrikins Loop & Londonderry Rock
  • Shantytown

Detour: SHANTYTOWN

One of the Coast's must-see attractions and a great way to learn about the region's colourful history, Shantytown is a replica gold-rush era town around 15km from Greymouth. It is a highly recommended side-trip off the West Coast Wilderness Trail between Greymouth and Kumara, and makes an excellent coffee or lunch stop.

3.5 km off the trail at Paroa. Allow 1 ½ hours one way from Greymouth.

The Chasm swing bridge
Kumara Gold
Shantytown Village
Majestic Forests and Lake Ride
Start: Kawhaka Intake
Finish: Hokitika
Distance: 49km
Grade: grade 2 / easy
Duration: allow 6-7 hours

Immerse yourself in some of the most spectacular landscapes along the West Coast Wilderness Trail. Create truly memorable experiences as you ride amidst majestic native forest, pedal through a stunning mountain-ringed valley, cross crystal-clear rivers and then discover one of New Zealand's most picturesque lakes, Kaniere. The trail then plunges back into the bush for a fun cruise along an historic water race and then down the sweeping tree-lined pathway known as the Pipeline. Take a breath while you meander down peaceful Kaniere Road towards Hokitika before the final leg along the historic Kaniere Tramway and the banks of the Hokitika River.

Optional side trips

  • The Cesspool
  • Canoe Cove (walk & swim)
  • Cowboy Paradise saloon & activities

Detour: THE CESSPOOL

Don't be fooled by the name – the Cesspool is a beautiful, dramatic place where the crystal clear waters of the Arahura River surge through a narrow gorge. A spectacular old-fashioned wire swingbridge spans the river, providing a great vantage for photrographs. Under the bridge you can swim in the pool, or just relax riverside and take in the views.

5km return off the trail. Allow 2 hours in all.

Kaniere water race
Kaniere water race
Lake Kaniere
Cesspool swingbridge
Ross Railway
Start: Hokitika i-Site
Finish: Ross
Distance: 33km
Grade: grade 2 / easy
Duration: allow 4+ hours

This ride down the old Ross Railway Line conjures a bygone era when the railway was vital to the district's economy. Touted as one of the most scenic in New Zealand, the railway line cuts a cross-country path between the mountains and sea, passing unique wetland habitats and crossing many fine bridges constructed in the early 1900s. The ride finishes at Ross, an authentic old gold town with character in spades. This ride can be enjoyed in either direction, and is also a great extension to the Mahinapua Magic ride for those with a few more hours to spare.

Optional side trips

  • Picnic Point (walk/swim)
  • West Coast Treetop Walkway
  • Ross heritage walks
  • Totara River & Lagoon
  • Ross Goldfields Information & Heritage Centre
Mahinapua Creek
Ross Railway Bridge
Mahinapua Magic
Start: Hokitika i-Site
Finish: West Coast Treetop Walkway
Distance: 15km one way
Grade: grade 2 / easy
Duration: allow 1 1/2 hours one way plus time to experience the Treetop Walkway

It's hard to imagine a ride with so much diversity and beautiful scenery being right on your doorstep but this Mahinapua trip certainly delivers. Just a few easy kilometres from Hokitika the trail joins the Mahinapua Walkway before crossing an elevated board walk through stunning wetlands, home to many species of waterfowl and other birdlife. You may even spy the graceful kotuku (white heron), a particularly special treat for nature lovers. Leaving the wetlands the trail then connects with the historic Mananui Tramway through the Mahinapua Scenic Reserve with its remnant forest giants that once grew in abundance on the West Coast. A 15-minute walking detour leads to Picnic Point where there are great views of beautiful Lake Mahinapua. The short, final leg along Woodstock–Rimu Road leads to the West Coast Treetop Walkway & Café from where riders can be collected by shuttle, return the same way, or return via Rimu, Woodstock and Kaniere.

Optional side trips

  • Picnic Point (walk/swim)
  • West Coast Treetop Walkway

Detour: TREETOP WALKWAY

An exhilarating treetop adventure among temperate rainforest giants. Experience life with the birds in the ancient Rimu and Kamahi tree canopy. Situated only a few hundred metres off the trail the Treetop Walkway is a great place for a coffee stop or lunch. (Allow 1 hour to do the walkway)

Mahinapua walk
Treetop walkway
Lake Mahinapua
Treetop walkway tower
Arahura Valley - Cowboy Paradise - Lake Kaniere
Start: Cowboy Paradise
Finish: Hokitika
Distance: 36km
Grade: grade 2 / easy
Duration: allow 4 hours

Jam-packed with jaw-dropping scenery, this is a fantastic ride for those looking for an easy cruise with plenty of opportunity to soak it all in and take photographs. Beginning in the Upper Arahura Valley, the day starts with a bang at Cowboy Paradise, a replica Wild West town, before riders whiz down the valley through a series of sweeping zig-zags to the crystal-clear Arahura River – an important source of pounamu (greenstone) for the local Maori people. After a short climb back out of the valley, the trail passes through lovely native forest on the way to picturesque Kaniere, one of New Zealand's most beautiful lakes. Then it's back into the bush and along the historic Kaniere Water Race before encountering the even more fun Pipeline track. The trail then meanders down peaceful Kaniere Road on to the historic Kaniere Tramway and the banks of the Hokitika River to reach Hokitika town.

Optional side trips

  • The Cesspool
  • Canoe Cove (walk & swim)
  • Cowboy Paradise saloon & activities.

Detour: THE CESSPOOL

Don't be fooled by the name – the Cesspool is a beautiful, dramatic place where the crystal clear waters of the Arahura River surge through a narrow gorge. A spectacular old-fashioned wire swingbridge spans the river, providing a great vantage for photrographs. Under the bridge you can swim in the pool, or just relax riverside and take in the views.

5km return off the trail. Allow 2 hours in all.

Arahuna river
Ready to go?
Get help planning your trip from the experts
Book/Enquire
Connect
Join our community of trail-lovers!
Like on Facebook
Sign up
Get the latest trail updates and news
Buy the trail guide

Get the inside word on NZ’s most loved trail with the official Wilderness Trail guide book.

Buy now