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The Wilderness Bike Trail from Greymouth to Kumara

The first stage was very impressive when you ride along the beach. Again and again one has beautiful views out to the sea and can also paddle around the feet to bathe. Continue with a beautiful bikestrasse in the bush. The experience on the oneway bridge is not also with train and auto. There is a clip-on which is really relaxing. As a biker you can rest peacefully on the bridge and enjoy the view of the great river. The trail up to Kumara is varied. One goes through bush and weideland. The area just before Kumara is the highlight of this stage with lovely river views from the suspension bridge. Afterwards you should not miss it and eat or stay over at the Theatre Royal hotel where I enjoyed a fine lunch. I would recommend staying the first night there in Kumara.

The Wilderness Bike Trail from Kumara to Hokitika

This stage offers one highlight after another.
The terrain is varied and the views of the lakes, rivers and mountains are magnificent. The trail is super laid out and extremely varied for biking. After much rain the trail surface was still in perfect condition. This stretch of the trail compares with no bike tour I've ever biked previously anywhere in the world. It is just the best thing you would like to experience as an outdoor biker. If you decide on such a Wilderness bike trail as a visitor to New Zealand you get to know the Westcoast from the most beautiful sides.
The short stop in Cowboy paradise I used to relax and enjoy the beautiful view.
I recommend this section of trail strongly to anyone who likes to ride the Wilderness Bike trail. For me, the section stretching from Kumara to Hokitika is world class. Great performance by the founders and workers of this trail. Congratulations.
I really wonder why there is no charge at all to bike this first class trail. For many Europeans the fact that there is no charge would lead them to believe the trail is perhaps not of the fine standard that is actually offered. Donation boxes would be better than nothing as there must be a large cost to keep the trail in this fine condition.
- Katja Jossi
Hasliberg, Switzerland
We thoroughly enjoyed the Wilderness Trail – we thought the trail condition was excellent and the scenery fabulous. The West Coast is a real hidden jewel in New Zealand’s crown and a special place to visit. The signposting of the trail, kilometre markings up until Hokitika, and the information boards provided, were fantastic.
Riding through the dense forest trails was a real highlight, as was the ride down the curvy trail from Cowboy Paradise, meeting the genuinely friendly West Coasters, really there were many other highlights too, but where do you start – and finish? We will certainly be recommending the trail to friends and colleagues as a “must do” New Zealand cycle. We completed the Central Otago Rail Trail over Easter 2016 and thought the Wilderness Trail can certainly compete with this one, particularly as it has such a wide variety of scenery and much history to absorb.
- Debbie Cooper
Our group rode two days on the West Coast Wilderness Trail over Waitangi weekend in 2017. We earlier decided to ride north from Ross towards Greymouth – a wise decision. Our bookings were expertly arranged by the i-Site in Hokitika.

We left our vehicles in Kumara at the Theatre Royal Car Park and utilised the West Coast Wilderness Trail Shuttle service to take us to Ross and to move our bags over the two days. Chris our shuttle driver loaded our bikes and bags and dropped our group at the Ross Motel – clean and comfortable. We enjoyed dinner at the Empire Hotel in Ross, which was a blast from the past - great hospitality and good meals.

Our ride started in typical West Coast weather - rain but within 30 minutes it had eased off so by the time we reached Hokitika we had dried out. An easy riding section of track over the Totara River bridge and on to Ruatapu. A short piece of road riding followed to Lake Mahinapua where we then followed the Mananui Tramline through some amazing bush - a “not to be missed section of track.” From there it was a short 30-minute ride to Hokitika for lunch.

From there is was out past Kaniere and onto the start of the trail – an excellent section that has been developed around the contours so is rideable by most. This section of track took us to Lake Kaniere and then a short climb over into the Arahura Valley. Easy riding once in the Valley and great scenery before we arrived at the switchbacks that took us up to Cowboy Paradise. Excellent hospitality at very reasonably prices - great evening meal while our accommodation was considered to be very comfortable & clean by our group.

We left Cowboy Paradise on Day 2 with high cloud that quickly burnt off in the first hour. This section to Kumara took us 3.5 hours to ride with again some excellent scenery, switchbacks, swing bridge, a couple of river crossings and several large lakes and waterways. The track comprised a mix of specially built and good quality tracks while other parts were along 4 wheel drive tracks. We arrived in Kumara in time for lunch - great service and excellent food at the Theatre Royal Hotel – their rooms were amazing. After lunch we rode out to Paroa before heading back to Kumara - again some lovely scenery along the way. Dinner at the hotel that night was excellent in terms of quality of food and service.

Before we left to travel home, we managed a walk to Londonderry Rock and the historic pools of Kumara – both well worth the visit.

- Mike Moore
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