Accessibility Information
Accessibility Information

General Accessibility

The Wilderness Trail is relatively accessible for riders with many types of physical access challenges. We have included first-hand documentation of areas of difficulty from riders.

If you are considering riding the trail and would like more detailed advice, or, if you've ridden the trail with any form of physical disability and would like to share your experience, please email the Wilderness Trail Manager on: manager@westcoastwildernesstrail.co.nz

Two of the main pinch points are:

Kawhaka Intake Gantry Bridge – This bridge is 905mm wide. There is no alternative route directly around it. You can however enter and exit the trail via the Old Christchurch Road in the north and Milltown Road south of Cowboy Paradise to avoid this if you don't think you will fit through it.

Lake Kaniere Water Race – This section contains a curved bridge that is difficult to negotiate. If you need to bypass it please use the road section and enter/re-enter the trail at either Wards Road or the Milltown Road turnoff (pending the direction you are travelling). New bridge options are being considered.

Riding the Trail on a three-wheel hand cycle

Janet Cuttle, a former Commonwealth Games road cyclist, Coast to Coast athlete and master's ski Racer rode the trail on a TopEnd Force CCC three-wheel hand cycle. She highly recommends the trail to anyone on a hand cycle. She definitely needed help from her friends to navigate certain parts of the trail and problem solve for her. The tricky things she encountered were mainly on the Kawhaka to Hokitika section as follows:

  • her front wheel drive bike lost traction on the steeper shingle road section
  • the switchbacks, especially those heading down into Cowboy Paradise, were too tight
  • the little cattle stops south of Cowboy Paradise were too narrow for her trailer
  • some bridges on the Kaniere Water Race were a squeeze as was one of the narrow section after one of the bridges.

Janet was able to use the cycle lane attached to the Hokitika bridge.

Tips for riders who are blind

Yes, this is fine to ride and can be completed relatively easily on a tandem bike. Asima Leone, who was new to cycling, rode the trails with his wife. From their experiences the main things to watch out for are:

  • A number of bridges and boardwalks with no side rails, the most prominent ones in the Mahinapua Creek section.
  • A couple of curved bridges in the Kaniere Water Race section. (photo above)
  • Places where the trail is narrow and care must be taken when stepping off the bike not to step out over the edge. These are mainly through the Kaniere Water Race and the stretch between Kawaka and Cowboy Paradise.
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