Map of Cycle New Zealand: Wilderness Trail including New Zealand

Explore New Zealand’s wild West Coast on two wheels

Feel the fresh West Coast wind in your hair (well, in your helmet) as you cycle through some of the South Island’s most spectacular scenery. Discover a region renowned for rugged coastline, fascinating inland, dazzling mountains, incredible beaches and one of New Zealand’s great rides – the incomparable Wilderness Trail. Pedal your way from Ross to Greymouth through ancient rainforests, past glacial rivers and around brooding lakes, with plenty of time to soak in magnificent views and spin a yarn with the locals. Four days, two wheels, and one unforgettable adventure.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Hokitika, New Zealand
Finish
Greymouth, New Zealand
Destination
New Zealand
Style
Original
Theme
Cycling
Code
PHXW
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Set out on one of New Zealand’s great rides as you cycle the West Coast Wilderness Trail through the South Island’s untamed natural wilderness.

  • The scenery is wild, but the ride is smooth as you follow mostly traffic-free cycle paths and trails with amazing West Coast scenery at every turn.

  • When you’re not on two wheels, explore on two feet during hikes at Lake Kaniere at the spectacular Point Elizabeth Lookout, where you can see the ocean stretch to the mountains.

  • Experience the famous hospitality of New Zealander’s firsthand on a trail built specifically to cater to cyclists.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations and working with new partners can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

  • Due to the car-free nature of much of the trail this trip does not have a support vehicle, however our luggage is transported for you.

  • To avoid the long uphills we use a transfer vehicle to the start of the rides on Day 2 and 3.

  • Accommodation on the Wilderness Trail can be booked out months in advance so there may be occasions where we stay in nearby locations to those advertised. Your leader will inform you at the initial group meeting if this is the case on your departure.

  • Due to the relatively small distances cycled on this trip, we have a single leader that rides with the group. There may be times when the leader asks one of the group to act as a backmarker.

Itinerary

Kia Ora! Welcome to Hokitika, New Zealand. Your West Coast cycling adventure kicks off with a meeting at 11am where you’ll meet your leader and fellow travellers. After the meeting you’ll be fitted with your bike, then hop aboard your vehicle and follow the shores of the Tasman Sea to the nearby town of Ross. Here you’ll set your wheels in motion and begin your cycling journey along the West Coast Wilderness Trail. Today will be a chance to find your feet as you cycle the mostly flat road north through gently rolling farmland and tracts of green forest, crossing the Totara River before arriving at the tiny town of Ruatapu. If time permits, you may like to take an optional visit the West Coast Treetop Walk to see a forest of ancient Rimu trees from a different perspective. From here, cycle along peaceful tree-lined roads, past the calm emerald waters of Lake Mahinapua, through wooded areas, and cruise all the way back into Hokitika. This evening you may like to get to know your travel companions over dinner in town, or perhaps head to the nearby Glowworm Dell where magical creatures light up a cave above you.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hokitika Glowworm Dell
Optional Activities
  • Rotorua - Redwoods Treetop Walkway - NZD35
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Today’s ride is 31km, mostly flat, with approximately 150m of elevation gain.

This trip starts at 11am in Hokitika at the Joining Point hotel.
Tuck into an early breakfast then jump in the vehicle for a short drive up the hill to the stunning Lake Kaniere. Fringed by mountains and ancient Rimu forests, this glacial lake is just as beautiful as it is culturally significant, once serving as a mahinga kai (food gathering place) for the Maori people. It’s also a perfect spot for a short hike, and if weather permits, you’ll enjoy a scenic stroll along the Lake Kaniere Walkway (approximately 2 hours). Stop of at the secluded Dorothy Falls, then hop back on two wheels and cycle 10km along undulating gravel road hugging the east shore of Lake Kaniere. From here, enjoy a mostly downhill ride, following the fast-flowing Hokitika River back into Hokitika town. The rest of the afternoon is free for your own explorations. You may like to learn about the significance of carving in Maori culture at a local carving studio, where you can carve a piece from pounamu (greenstone), bone, or shell. For a glimpse into Hokitika’s past, head to the local museum, or you may like to end the day at Hokitika beach, watching an amazing West Coast sunset.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lake Kaniere hiking
Optional Activities
  • Greenstone carving - NZD100
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s ride is 31kms, undulating for 18kms then mostly downhill, with 200m of elevation gain.

There is an option to replace the Lake Kaniere Walkway hike with a hike up the Mt Brown Hut track if the group is feeling fit and time permits. Your leader will discuss this on the day.
To avoid a long uphill stretch this morning, you and your bike will be driven back up to Lake Kaniere to start today’s ride. Leaving the lake, you’ll start climbing almost immediately, skirting Mt Tuhua, cycling through valley farmland and crossing the braided Arahura River. Continue up to the high point of the trip under the craggy peaks of the towering Mt Turiwhate. The next 20kms are almost all downhill, as you drop down past Trappers Rest then continue to the twin lakes of the Kumara Reservoir, cycling across the narrow spit of land that separates the wooded shores of the still green waters. Pause to take in the view, then follow the water north before dropping down into Kumara itself. If the weather’s warm, why not relax by the sandy banks of the Taramakau River, or if you’re feeling more active, enjoy a short and easy stroll through tailings and old gold workings to view Londonderry Rock – a huge boulder too large for the miners to move or break. Once a thriving gold town with over 50 pubs, sleepy Kumara is now a wonderful place to simply put your feet up and enjoy the tranquillity of rural life in New Zealand.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s ride is 46 kms, undulating, with one large climb after 14kms, then mostly downhill, with 500m of elevation gain.
Rise bright and early to saddle up for your final day on the Wilderness Trail. You’ll cover a lot of ground today (47km) but it’s pretty easy going, with the first 12km at a good speed downhill from Kumara, all the way to the point where the Taramakau River meets the Tasman Sea. Follow the path through ever-changing scenery, covering flat coastal roads past the West Coast’s rugged beaches and small settlements. Ride through the busy town of Greymouth, then continue across the Grey River out to the pounding surf of Shipwreck Point, then follow the ocean north to the Point Elizabeth Walkway. Park your bike and take a well surfaced hike (approximately 5km return) through mixed coastal forest out to the Point Elizabeth Lookout. Take a moment to soak in some truly unforgettable views stretching from the ocean to the Paparoa Mountain Range. Then it’s a short and flat ride back to Greymouth, where on arrival your West Coast Wilderness Trail cycling trip comes to an end.
Optional Activities
  • Shantytown Heritage Park - NZD36
  • Monteith's Brewery Tour - NZD28
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s ride is 47 kms, mostly downhill then flat, 50% gravel and 50% paved, with 220m of elevation gain.

For those staying on, there is plenty to see and do in Greymouth, including the nearby Shantytown Heritage Park or quench your thirst on a Monteith's Brewery Tour.

Meals

3 breakfasts

Transport

Bicycle (e-bike available, subject to availability)

Accommodation

Hotel (3 nights)

Included activities

  • Hokitika Glowworm Dell
  • Lake Kaniere hiking

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Cycle New Zealand: Wilderness Trail trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Read details here.

1. This trip starts at 11am and finishes on arrival back to Greymouth on Day 4 (approx 4pm)
2. Please note no included accommodation in Greymouth.
3. To complete this trip it is important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle.
4. On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group.
5. This trip includes a support vehicle and your luggage is transported for you from accommodation to accommodation each day.
6. Luggage is limited to 1 bag per client, no heavier than 15kgs.
7. Our riding is done mostly on a well-graded and maintained gravel cycle path, so there are no technical cycling skills required.
8. An e-bike option (at additional cost) may be available on this trip. We have limited numbers of these bikes available and they are on an 'on request' basis only - it is important to advise us o your height at the time of request.. A request does not guarantee an e-bike, only a confirmed booking. Please ask your agent for more details at the time of booking.

Essential trip information

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