36km, Grade 2/easy to Grade 3/intermediate (on-road sections are Grade 3/intermediate). 3–6 hours
After some hearty breakkie, grab your bike and head for the Alps. You'll pass remnants of the gold rush before arriving at the Kapitea Reservoir. Pass the lake then head on to the Loopline Reservoir and its 'spillway', for a close up look at the stone face dam that was hand-laid in 1883 by miners during the gold rush.
Carry on to the sweeping boardwalk that connects Loopline Road, then ride the gravel trail out to Old Christchurch Road. From here you'll follow water race, old logging trams and pack track up the Kawaka Valley, passing man-made dams and fresh mountain-water weirs.
Say 'howdy' to the Southern Alps, and when you reach the Waitaiki Reserve you'll begin your descent through ancient Podocarp forest until you reach a sprawling suspension bridge through the trees.
Nearly there! Day 2 wraps up with a journey through beautiful native bush, ahead of your arrival at Cowboy Paradise, a replica Wild West town.
This section's more challenging than Day 1 but the trail's stellar - making for smooth, comfy riding - and the few short steep sections are also the most scenic. So if you don't feel like riding, no sweat! They'll be just as enjoyable to walk.
The West Coast’s only restored gold-rush miners’ hotel offers a variety of accommodation, welcoming restaurant and bar with hearty meals, cosy fireplace and secure bike storage. Hotel rooms include Victorian decor, antique furnishings and modern amenities. The replica Miners Cottages, McEnaneys ensuite cottage rooms and the Old Bank of New Zealand are perfect for cycling couples and groups.
A professionally run Hokitika based shuttle service that can transport you, your bike or luggage to all points on the trail. We have plenty of local knowledge and are keen to help you with all aspects of your planning. We can arrange bike hire.
Kumara is a former gold mining town where many came to seek their fortune, particularly the Irish. The town was once the home of the most famous West Coaster, Richard John Seddon, Premier of the Liberal Government from 1893 until his death in 1906.
Today, Kumara is a service town for tourists and farmers. The race course at Kumara provides a base for competitors and their support teams heading off on the annual Coast to Coast endurance race and the annual race meeting brings thousands of visitors each year.
Kumara offers lots for the outdoor enthusiast from tramping, hunting and fishing to fossicking for gold. Lake Brunner and the Taramakau River offer magnificent scenery and great brown trout fishing while the lower Taramakau is famous for its whitebait runs.
Explore NZ's favourite cycle trails with the company that has helped pioneer fully supported cycling trips in New Zealand for over 20 years.
Our West Coast Wilderness Cycle includes transport from Christchurch, accommodation, a qualified guide, vehicle support, most meals, entry to the Treetops Walkway and TranzAlpine train journey to Christchurch.
Visit our website for details
We operate a 6 day tour of the Wilderness Trail and beyond with full vehicle support, quality ensuite accommodation and wholesome meals. Venture beyond the Wilderness Trail to experience more of the West Coast region. Ebikes available. Start/finish from Christchurch.
Trail Transport is a shuttle and bike hire service allowing you easy, convenient access to the West Coast Wilderness Trail between Greymouth and Ross. We are based in Greymouth at Colls Sports World, where we have the latest bikes, E bikes and accessories for hire or sale with an onsite bike mechanic. Owned and operated by Coasters with a wealth of cycling and local knowledge.
Located in Christchurch Tuatara Tours runs 4 day fully guided and catered tours on the West Coast Wilderness Trail. Let us take care of the details, leaving you more time to relax and explore. We can collect you from Christchurch or Greymouth.
Not a Rail Trail are the specialists in South Island Cycle Trails. Tours are fully inclusive (excluding alcohol) to ensure you don't have to pay for anything once on tour. They're fully supported which means mixed ability groups can ride together and we limit groups to no more than 10 people in order to maximize our service. We are also able to customize tours for larger, private groups, if required. Visit our website for full details of all tour options
Discover fascinating stories of real New Zealanders and experience a recreated gold-rush village. West Coast isolation, extreme weather and rugged terrain produced stories of fortitude and ingenuity. Shantytown tells these pioneering stories through a fascinating mix of experience and displays.
Ride the Steam Train through native rainforest, experience the sights and sounds of a working sawmill, watch the sluice gun blast gold bearing rock and soil from the earth, then follow the races to the gold claim and pan for your own gold.
The village, with 30 shops and buildings to explore shows life the way it used to be. Catch the show in our new holographic theatre. For a memento of Shantytown nothing is better than an old time photo.
Great Coffee, Fresh cut Sandwiches, Quality Pies, Home Made Doughnuts, Packed Lunches.
Right in the heart of Kumara village, cycle spares, gifts, groceries stocked, quality modern motel units available. We look forward to giving you a warm welcome.
At Natural High we believe exploring New Zealand by bicycle is the best way to truly experience this remarkable country.
Whether you're looking for bike rental for a weekend or a grand cycle tour of the whole country, someone in our Auckland or Christchurch branches will talk you through all your options, and give you the best possible advice. Contact us for all your bike hire, accessories, touring and group tour needs nationwide.
Nope, no horses on the West Coast Wilderness Trail, but lots of the bikers we bring here also journey with us elsewhere in NZ - and worldwide. Active Earth Adventures & Hiking New Zealand have cycling, hiking and mountain biking trips from Kumara to Mongolia. Why not hop on a supported trip and enjoy the stress free preparations and seamless adventures.
Cycle Journeys provides you with a one stop service when planning your ride on the Wilderness Trail. Choose your bike hire from our fleet of over 200 bikes (including more than 30 E-Bikes), luggage transfer, accommodation bookings, shuttle to the start and finish of the trail. We can even arrange group transport from Christchurch.
... our cycling tours are designed for women, guided by women, loved by women Cycling with a twist - our tours are truly special! After three days of cycling, we take you to one of the last little secret spots on the coast for an unforgettable kayaking and walking experience. Our accommodation is all about comfort and charm. Our prices are all-inclusive.
This restored historic villa is available as a whole home or individual double/twin rooms. Full kitchen for self catering. Also available are 4 bed dorms, space for tents and small camper vans. BBQ in outside undercover kitchen, wifi and hot showers all walking distance from the local hotel. Wild gardens with abundant birds.
Discover more of the Coast while on your Wilderness Trail experience. The Hokitika Gorge, Punakaiki, the Glaciers – whatever you want to see and do. We will pick-up and deliver back to your location. Pick-up and drop-off anywhere within the Hokitika or Greymouth area is also available by arrangement. Group discounts available and we hold a DOC concession.
Just south of the Taramakau Bridge take a short diversion and enjoy a delicious breakfast or lunch, fantastic coffee, 12 flavours of real ice cream, smoothies and a great selection of affordable, quality food to eat in or pack to take on the trail, including gluten free options. Watch the live bees at work, purchase local honey products and check out their daily deals. Free self-contained camping.
Kiwi Journeys are your trusted cycle tour operator specialising in self-guided and supported tours on the West Coast Wilderness Trail and Nelson’s Great Taste Trail. We offer everything you need to enjoy these top Great Rides – from bike hire, transport and accommodation, to personal advice and insider tips.
Our team know the trail and the West Coast thoroughly. We can provide advice and book your entire trip and experience from accommodation and transportation to bike hire, shuttles and activities.
The only mobile app designed for the NZ Great Rides and a national partner of the NZ Cycle Trail.
Working offline it offers GPS tracking, over 1,500+ pages of maps, photos and trail section descriptions
The app includes the West Coast Wilderness Trail. Download it free today!
For a restful night's sleep after your invigorating ride. Our comfortable Chalets are modern and fully equipped with Garden and Veranda, Cycle storage & Parking, Breakfast on request. Pop into our on-site Store & Café for Great Coffee, Groceries, Fresh Doughnuts, Sandwiches, Packed Lunches, gifts and Cycle accessories. We look forward to giving you a warm welcome.
Meet a Local
Paul offers visitors natural and history tours of his West Coast Wildlife Sanctuary in return for a donation towards predator control work he does on his property. Tea & coffee available.
Learn about this early Kawhaka Settlement.
A division of Paul Sinclair Contracting Ltd.
Owner Operator of Portable Toilets and Showers
Get the inside word on NZ’s most loved trail with the official Wilderness Trail guide book.Buy now
Building the West Coast Wilderness Trail and keeping it clean and beautiful takes a lot, every little bit helps. Thank you for your support. See you on the trail!Donate now