I’d been told the West Coast Wilderness Trail was something really special by a few people who had biked it. But being a mountain biker, it had sounded a bit too tame. Recently I rode it as part of a ride along many of the cycle trails around New Zealand. Turned out the West Coast Wilderness Trail was my favourite of all the trails. It had it all: stunning scenery, a relaxing fun ride, and importantly, well-spaced distances between cafes.
About the West Coast Wilderness Trail
The West Coast Wilderness Trail is a stunning off-road cycle trail that lets you experience the best of the West Coast of New Zealand. The trail will take you through dense native forests, past remote lakes and glacial rivers, and into old gold mining towns.
The West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand is a lush place, surrounded by ancient forests. West Coasters are deeply proud of their slice of the world, and rightly so. The Coast is a place made for ‘going bush’ and getting out into the mountains. The West Coast Wilderness Trail offers a small taste of what the region is famous for, letting you immerse yourself in the Coast from the seat of your bike.
It’s a purpose-built trail that starts in Greymouth and travels 135km through to Ross. The trail can be easily broken into sections of around 35km that can be ridden in either direction.
Some of my favourite stops were the restored Theatre Royal pub in Kumara; Cowboy Paradise (see photo), a replica Wild West ‘town’ and great place to shelter from a sudden burst of rain; Hokitika beach for some salty sea air and to snap a photo of its famous driftwood sign; and hanging out with the locals in the historic Empire Hotel in Ross.