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The definitive where-to-ride guide for cycling in New Zealand

West Coast Wilderness Trail

New Zealand Cycle Trail

West Coast, South Island

Planning on riding the West Coast Wilderness Trail? Fill out this form so we can help you plan your West Coast Rail Trail itinerary.  

The two-four day Westland Wilderness Trail runs down the west-coast of the South Island from Greymouth to Ross, through Kumara, Milltown, Lake Kaniere, and Mahinapua.  The landscape is a major feature as the trail follows wild beaches, bush tracks through dense rainforest, glacial rivers and lakes, through wetlands, along logging tramways, back-country roads and disused railway lines.  To the east the snow capped Southern Alps rises sharply while to the east the rugged Southern Ocean consumes the coast.

Once developed the Westland Wilderness Trail will start at Blaketown in Greymouth and heads south down the West Coast to Paroa some 12 kilometers away.  From here the trail heads inland to Kumara along a historic tramway. 

The trail continues through Dillmanstown and Goldsborough  as riders head through dense rainforest to Milltown in the Arahura Valley, to where you make your way back toward the coast following the Arahura River to Lake Kaniere and along old water races and farmland to Hokitika.  The Westland Wilderness Trail has a rich history with much of trail route running along original tracks laid by Maori greenstone gatherers and New Zealand gold miners.

Heading south from Hokitika the last 40km of the Westland Wilderness trail heads to the small country town of Ross. The trail is initially beside the ocean and a wetland reserve before using a disused railway line complete with several impressive wooden bridges from Ruatapu to Ross.

The ride will take between three and four days and is grade one, easy, catering for all levels of riding including families.

Photos

  • A4 Karamea
  • A5 Karamea
  • C3 CapeFoulwind
  • F1 Greymouth
  • F3 Greymouth
  • I1 HokitikaGorge
  • I4 HokitikaBeach
  • I5 HokitikaClock
  • J1 Ross
  • J2 Ross
  • M26 GillespiesBeach
  • M27 BruceBay
  • Westland Wilderness

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    Posted by Donaldpet, 18/12/2014 9:21am (4 hours ago)

  • Day trip from Kapitea Reservoir to Cowboy Paradise and return. Frosty winters day meant a calm and sunny excursion for us. Track is a mixture of single track, 4WD and very quiet gravel road and the surfaces were in excellent condition. They have repaired all the damage from the major storm that went through at Easter. You can see where some of the trees got snapped clean in half!

    Lots of bush and regenerating bush - so plenty of birdsong whenever you stop for a break.

    well worth taking a look if you have not been in this area before

    Posted by Del Robinson, 21/07/2014 12:37pm (5 months ago)

  • I have just done Greymouth to Hokitika last week. Rode it with a bike trailer "BOB" type on the back of my mountain bike. Day one was Greymouth to Cowboy Paradise which is right on the cycle way. Day two from there to Hokitika. Great ride , great scenery, excellent easy track with some easy climbing. Easily done if you set aside 5-7 hours of easy riding time per day. YES there is accomodation at cowboy paradise. Lovely guy by the name of Mike who owns and is slowly developing this place to look like a Wild West town from the cowboy days in the USA. I turned up late in the afternoon and was the only guest there in this place in the middle of nowhere. Mike made me feel very welcome
    The is a Saloon already built and there are very basic bunkhouses for $35 pp a night including linen, or much more upmarket newly built units for around $135 a night.
    Showers and toilets for the bunk house people equally basic.
    Dinner and breakfast also available. The saloon has cold beers and RTDs. I had a huge toasted sandwich for $10.00, steak or sausages were on offer too.
    I really enjoyed my stay overnight here. While I was self sufficient with tent etc, I knew the rain was due that night and it was great to be in the bunk house while it absolutely hosed down outside. Mike was a great host- a real true character. I won't forget him in a hurry. This is the ideal overnight stopping point in the trip and as this track gains momentum this place will go from what it is now to something far more sophisticated. Currently it has a very special unpolished pioneering feel that made the trip for me. There is a cowboy paradise website available and a guy called chris Steele runs a shuttle service to many points of the trackand is very flexible and helpful - organize a booking by ringing 0800NZByBike.

    Posted by Erich Kusel, 22/02/2014 11:59pm (10 months ago)

  • Can anyone tell me if there is any accommodation between Kumara and Milltown??

    Posted by Anne Cumming, 12/02/2014 7:23pm (10 months ago)

  • 26-27-28 Dec. Trail doesn't exist after first 20k to Taramakau bridge. Preparations derisory, local residents derisive.

    Posted by Ken McAllister, 13/01/2014 12:01pm (11 months ago)

  • Hi there, interested to do Kumara to Hokitika, accom
    & transport info please.
    Rex

    Posted by Rex Bentham, 02/01/2014 10:07pm (12 months ago)

  • Hi Rosey

    If you fill in the form on this page, we're happy to help you plan a trip:

    http://nzbybike.com/about-nzbybike/cycle-trail-planner/west-coast-rail-trail-trip-planner/

    Posted by Matt - NZByBIke, 29/11/2013 1:02pm (1 year ago)

  • I hear the trail is now open from Greymouth to Hokitika via Milltown (final stretch from Hoki to Ross still in construction late 2013). Does anyone know what accommodation options are available along the way? Any camping sites around Milltown area? Is it a town or just a name on the map?

    Posted by Rosey, 24/11/2013 6:45pm (1 year ago)

  • Hi
    If you were going to do this trail over two days, and roughly break it into two 60Km legs, is there anywhere to get accommodation overnight at approximately the half way point?

    Posted by Steve Flaunty, 20/01/2013 5:02pm (2 years ago)

  • Hi, I've just been on the middlepart between Kumara & Milltown 1 day ago, stunning scenery to bike through rainforest! But I would clearly not rate it Grade 1, it had a number of uphill bits as well as downhill on coarse gravel...

    Posted by Birte, 02/01/2013 2:44pm (2 years ago)

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