West Coast Wilderness Trail
- Grade: Easy - Intermediate
- Duration: 4 days
- Total Length: 120km
- Location: West Coast
In the midst of the West Coast of the Southern Alps, along the Great Alpine Fault, lie a series of tracks carved by pioneering gold rush miners. Today these old tracks, together with extensive water races, logging tramways and historic railway lines, form the West Coast Wilderness Trail. This 4 day cycling adventure reveals outstanding landscapes of dense rainforest, glacial rivers, lakes and wetlands, with views all the way from the snow-capped mountains of the Southern Alps to the wild Tasman Sea. Attractions and experiences along the trail include gold panning, rafting, dolphin watching, jade, wood and bone carving studios, trout fishing, scenic flights and the West Coast Treetop Walks as well as the chance to view unique sculptures, ruby rock, glass blowing and the work of local potters.
State Highway 6 connects the West Coast from Nelson, through Westport, Greymouth, and Hokitika onto the glaciers and through the Haast Pass to Otago. State Highway 7 through the Lewis Pass and State Highway 73 through the Arthur's Pass provide the east and west routes through the Southern Alps. By road it is just three hours to Christchurch Airport. The TranzAlpine Express train runs daily between Christchurch and Greymouth and takes approximately four and a half hours.
The West Coast is famous for its rain as well as its rain forest, but it does enjoy long fine spells that are ideal for cycling, especially in autumn and winter. It is best to check the weather forecast before your trip and dress accordingly.
For more information, view the West Coast Wilderness Trail page provided by NZ Cycle Trail.
Find out more about the West Coast region by following the links below:
- West Coast Accommodation
- West Coast Attractions and Activities
- West Coast Cuisine and Dining
- West Coast Tours
- West Coast Transport
- West Coast Visitor Information
All West Coast accommodation can be booked online.