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.
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
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.
Built in 1876, at the beginning of the Kumara gold rush, the Hotel was the meeting, entertaining and playing place for the miners who had arrived in Kumara, from all around the world. When current owners Kerrie and Mark Fitzgibbon purchased the hotel in 2010 it was derelict, vandalised and in total disrepair. Two years were spent with local tradesmen working to restore and rebuild the old building, which holds many special memories for Coasters of today.
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.
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.
Sidetracks is a small and personal tour company with a passion for the outdoors. Our small groups offer the possibility to be active, go exploring and have lots of fun together. We offer walking and cycling tours in New Zealand and Germany. We take time to notice the many features, small and big, along the way and really discover the country.
Cycle Journeys provides you with a one stop service when planning your ride on the Wilderness Trail. Choose your bike hire from our 70 hire fleet or our new 10 E-Bike fleet, luggage transfer, accommodation bookings, shuttle to the start and finish of the trail. We can even arrange group transport from Christchurch.
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.
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.
West Coast Wilderness Trail Door2Door Service - An easy return transport solution from Christchurch for you AND your bike. Get yourself & your trusty steed to and from the Wilderness Trail at your pace with plenty of opportunities to stop for a cuppa and selfie on the way. Departs Christchurch Sat 12:00pm. Charters are available so tell us your plans and we'll make it work!
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
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.
Distillers of essential oils and producers of Repulse insect repellent, balms and liquid soap. Made with the addition of Coast manuka. We are based in Kumara the gateway to the Coast. Purchase online or from local retail outlets. DEET FREE, the safe choice to use on your Wilderness adventure.
Kiwi Journeys Nelson now offers our premium service on the West Coast Wilderness Trail. Our self-guided itinerary has you enjoying the 'full experience' with inclusions like the Tree Top Walk, accommodation, breakfasts, luggage transfers, trail bike and eBike hire, transport and our first-class customer service. We also operate on Tasman's Great Taste Trail, Otago Central Rail Trail, Roxburgh Gorge & Clutha Gold Trails.
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.
"For a restful night's sleep after your invigorating ride"
We are a family run motel located right in the heart of Kumara village on the route of the West Coast Wilderness Trail. Whether your group is large or small we cater to your needs.
The rooms come fully equipped with ensuite facilities, Kitchenette, Satellite TV, Free WIFI, Garden, Cycle storage.We run the General store, Café and Post Centre, and so can cater to your every need during your stay with us, whether it be groceries, postal services, gifts or takeaways.
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.
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.
Lake Kaniere Homestay overlooks the northern shore of the lake, not 50 meters away. The house is set in native bush, on a cul-de-sac, lakeside road with very little traffic and great views of the lake and surrounding mountains.
Cowboy Paradise offers accommodation, bar, food and beverage and adventure entertainment in a unique environment and is located exactly halfway (63kms) along the West Coast Wilderness Trail.
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
Experience this unique self-contained accommodation in a luxury caravan just 30 metres from the lake edge at Lake Kaniere, 500 metres from the cycle trail.
This warm spacious caravan was imported from America for its size. It is 11 metres long, containing master bedroom, open plan kitchen, lounge and dining, bathroom and a four bed bunkroom.
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