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  • West Coast Trail
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  • West Coast Trail
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  • West Coast Trail
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Overview
For dates, availability & customisations Enquire

West Coast Trail

Start:ChristchurchTours run:November - April (Thursday departures--monthly)
End:Christchurch
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easy grade
Duration:4 days/3 nights
US$1,120.49
excl GST
Walking






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Plains to Alpine Passes to Sub Tropical Bush to the Beaches!
 

The West Coast Trail is a walking adventure created for hikers and nature lovers keen to explore a variety of landscapes and terrain.

Incorporating some of the best short, and some longer day walks in the Arthur's Pass National Park, and on the West Coast of the South Island, your journey of discovery takes you from East to West Coasts over 4 days of walking.

Starting from Christchurch on Day 1, you travel out over the Canterbury Plains and into the foothills of the Southern Alps with walks at Castle Hill and Flock Hill. These areas are known for their distinctive limestone rock formations, remnants of a time 30-40 million years ago when much of New Zealand lay at the bottom of the ocean. Forced up by the earth’s movement and weathered by the elements, these boulders assume a majestic presence and have been captured in films such as the “The Chronicles of Narnia”.

Arthur's Pass National Park is the next destination on your West Coast Trail walking tour and here the terrain changes dramatically; from lush native beech forest to sub alpine tussock and wetlands, steep sided valleys and majestic towering peaks carved by glaciers long since vanished. Discover the numerous native alpine plants and birds that exist in this beautiful, remote location. Listen for the call of the kea, New Zealand’s native alpine parrot and be charmed by the melodious tones of the bellbird.

Descending over the famous Otira Gorge into the dense green rainforest of the West Coast is like stepping back in time. Your local walking guide will share stories of the original Maori travellers that made this journey from coast to coast in search of precious greenstone, and the hardy explorers that followed in their footsteps carving out routes for the transport of gold and coal. Walk the Tunnel Loop Trail at Goldsborough where scars of pickaxes on rock are a very real reminder of the sheer determination of early goldminers to wrestle their fortune from the land.

The final destination on our West Coast Trail Walk is Punakaiki and the Paparoa National Park. This section of the coastline is considered one of the most scenic drives in New Zealand and we explore this region over two days, walking several of the coastal trails through unspoilt sub-tropical forest rich with podocarps and nikau palms. Enjoy spectacular blowholes cut by the ocean through layers of limestone rock (the aptly named Pancake Rocks) and the grandeur of the Pororari River Gorge with its steep sided cliff faces.

The West Coast Trail is achievable for all levels and is recommended for those wishing to explore the region in depth with a series of day walks. Incorporating walks in two National Parks and over a variety of landscapes from rainforest to alpine forest, coastline and river valleys, the West Coast Trail Walk provides an excellent snapshot of the best of South Island scenery.


Itinerary button
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West Coast Trail Highlights Video

(4:06min)
 
  • Contrasting landscapes
  • NZ the way it used to be
  • History
  • Tranquility
  • Food to die for

Dates For This Summer

 

Monday 27th February 2017


Please enquire for other tour dates for your group
btn enquire
 
West Coast download


West Coast Trail Walkers said...


"We would certainly recommend it. Excellent for our group of friends. Great to have everything so well organised and no decisions to make."
Dianne and Roger, NSW, March 2014
 

"Very well thought out with a good variety of locations and vegetation for the hikes"
Jill, NSW, March 2014

Dates and Availability?

Tours run:November - April (Thursday departures--monthly)
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Customisations?

We can customise tours to suit.

Nicky

nickylge

Hamish

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Enquire

Itinerary & Map

For dates, availability & customisations Enquire






West Coast Trail


Plains to Alpine Passes to Sub Tropical Bush to the Beaches!

.
The West Coast Trail is a walking adventure that departs from Christchurch and takes you on a discovery of the alpine pass area through to the Wild West Coast in the South Island of New Zealand.

With four days of unique West Coast walks, you experience a diverse range of rugged and dramatic landscapes including tussock lands, alpine bush, West Coast native rainforest and sub-tropical bush.

You will be able to immerse yourself in the natural beauty and history of the famous West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand.
West Coast Trail NZlargemap


Day 1: Christchurch to Flock Hill


You depart from Christchurch and travel along the Great Alpine Highway to Castle Hill where you walk amidst the distinctive limestone rock formations. You will continue your journey with an afternoon on Flock Hill. This working high country sheep station was part of the movie set for the climactic battle between Aslan’s forces and the powerful army of the White Witch in... The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

“Most remarkable was the battle scene filmed at Flock Hill Station which shows off New Zealand’s uninhibited beauty…” – Reuters.

To top off your high country experience you will dine and stay overnight at Flock Hill’s lodge accommodation. *(During lambing season walkers will instead walk in the Craigieburn Forest Park)
 


Day 2: Flock Hill to Greymouth


A short walk before breakfast takes you to a spectacular view of Lake Pearson which is situated at the base of the foothills of the Southern Alps. After breakfast you will begin your walk along the Bealey Track in Arthur’s Pass where you will be guided up the Bealey River to the base of Mt Rolleston. The group will stop to enjoy the scenery and a picnic lunch together.

The Dobson Nature Walk is the next experience along the trail. You will pass through colourful alpine vegetation, tussock, and wetlands while enjoying the view of mountains and valleys towering in the distance.

You will then explore some of the old goldmining relics on the Goldsborough Track near Kumara. This historic walk takes you through a wonderful array of West Coast ferns, with some of the best remaining examples of hill country rimu and miro. You can try your hand at gold panning.

You are then guided along the Tunnel Loop Walk where you will see an outstanding display of hand dug goldminers’ tunnels.

Tonight, enjoy the best of West Coast hospitality, with a relaxing evening at your Lodge accommodation.
 


Day 3: Greymouth to Punakaiki


Your day begins by exploring the ‘Jewel of the West Coast’, the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and blowholes. You will walk around these spectacular limestone formations that were created over 30 million years ago. The timing of this walk will coincide with high tide so that you can see the huge water spouts that blast from the crevices in the rocks, a truly spectacular and breathtaking sight.

The Truman Track is the next stop on the trail. You will be guided through lush coastal rainforest and capture fantastic views of the coastline.

From there you walk along the Cave Creek Track , in the fascinating heart of the Paparoa National Park.

You will stay in high quality West Coast lodge accommodation amongst the nikau palms, with magnificent coast scenery, and enjoy an entertaining evening meal.
 


Day 4: Punakaiki to Christchurch


Your adventure continues this morning, after breakfast, with the Pororari River Walk, where you will experience spectacular West Coast native rainforest and broad limestone canyons, while walking alongside the lovely Pororari River. The track passes through dense sub-tropical forest of coastal broadleaf, tree ferns and towering rata.

Your West Coast Trail walking experience ends at mid-day leaving you with a number of additional options:

Return to Christchurch by:

The TranzAlpine Railway - rated 'one of the top 6 train rides in the world’ and highly recommended by Tuatara Tours. From your carriage you will enjoy stunning views of farmland, gorges, river valleys, lush beech forests and the Southern Alps. (4 hours) (additional cost)

or

Tuatara Coach (4 hours) (no additional cost)

Ask our team for details.

If you wish to continue your stay in the West Coast region or explore another area of the South Island there are hire car facilities in nearby Greymouth.
Accommodation:
  • Walking
 
Hrs, KM

Dates For This Summer

 

Monday 27th February 2017


Please enquire for other tour dates for your group
btn enquire
 
West Coast download


West Coast Trail Walkers said...


"We would certainly recommend it. Excellent for our group of friends. Great to have everything so well organised and no decisions to make."
Dianne and Roger, NSW, March 2014
 

"Very well thought out with a good variety of locations and vegetation for the hikes"
Jill, NSW, March 2014

What's Included

For dates, availability & customisations Enquire






West Coast Trail


Accommodation

 
Day One
  • Cottages and motel units situated on a High Country farming property. Private rooms with shared bathrooms.

Day Two
  • A beautifully renovated 1902 farmhouse, private rooms with either ensuite or private bathroom facilities. Swimming pool, spa and sauna for guests.

Day Three
  • Modern beachfront hotel. Private rooms with ensuite bathrooms.

*Please note accommodation is double or twin share. If single room accommodation is requested, an additional fee of $394 per person is payable to cover this requirement for the duration of the walk.
 
 

Food


You will enjoy great local cuisine; continental breakfasts and hearty packed lunches during the day, and either restaurant meals or wholesome home-cooked fare prepared by your host/hostess in the evenings.

If you have any dietary issues or food allergies, we are happy to cater for these, please advise the office of details when you make your booking.

All meals are included in your tour cost. Wine and other beverages are available to be purchased during dinners.



West Coast Trail NZ
 
 

Fully Guided


Our guides are very experienced, friendly walkers and bikers who love to share their knowledge of New Zealand’s flora and fauna and local history. They all hold current first aid certificates, passenger driving licences and are the very best people to ensure your experience will be one to remember.



West Coast Trail Guides 
 
 



West Coast Trail Guides
 

 

Exclusive to Tuatara Tours - Tour Kit Bag

To ensure you get the very best out of your journey with the least of fuss, we provide you with a calico kit bag full of useful goodies on the morning of your tour departure.

West Coast Trail Guides kit



West Coast Trail Guide

Your Tour Kit Bag Contains the Following

Contents may vary from time to time!
  • Tuatara Tours cap
  • Tuatara Tours cup
  • Tuatara Tours drink bottle
  • Tuatara Tours hand sanitiser
  • Tuatara Tours tissues
  • Tuatara Tours lip balm and sunblock
  • Tuatara Tours emergency whistle
  • Tuatara Tours brochures
  • Field & History Guide of the area
  • Bag of Tuatara scroggin
  • Bag of Tuatara energy plus confectionary
Contents may vary from time to time!  
   


Luggage


Tuatara Tours transports all your luggage for the duration of the tour.

All you carry is a small day pack with your personal gear, drink and lunch.

We do the Rest
   


What Do I Bring


For your own safety there are a few things that you must bring yourself:
  • Footwear with good ankle support – we recommend good hiking boots
  • Thermal top wool or polypro
  • Thermal bottom wool or polypro or long trousers
  • Waterproof parka with hood
  • Waterproof overtrousers
  • Fleece jacket or woollen jersey
  • Woollen or fleece hat
  • Gloves
  • Medium size day pack
Other things we recommend you bring are:  
  • Woollen socks
  • Dressing gown
  • Hat, sunglasses
  • Drink bottle – at least one litre capacity (we supply you with one bottle, but you may wish to bring another)
  • Swim wear
  • Sunscreen & insect repellent
  • Flannel
  • Camera
  • Small personal first aid kit including blister block or similar, Motion sickness medication, anti-histamines for bee stings
  • Casual attire for the evenings
  • Any other personal items
  • Your sense of humour
   


qualmark activity2    Safety and Risk Management


To ensure maximum safety for all, our guides are certified first aiders and fully qualified drivers. Tuatara Tours operate under a Safety and Risk Management Plan which is regularly audited and approved by a qualified and independent auditor.



 

Dates For This Summer

 

Monday 27th February 2017


Please enquire for other tour dates for your group
btn enquire
 
West Coast download


West Coast Trail Walkers said...


"We would certainly recommend it. Excellent for our group of friends. Great to have everything so well organised and no decisions to make."
Dianne and Roger, NSW, March 2014
 

"Very well thought out with a good variety of locations and vegetation for the hikes"
Jill, NSW, March 2014

Photos

For dates, availability & customisations Enquire







Dates For This Summer

 

Monday 27th February 2017


Please enquire for other tour dates for your group
btn enquire
 
West Coast download


West Coast Trail Walkers said...


"We would certainly recommend it. Excellent for our group of friends. Great to have everything so well organised and no decisions to make."
Dianne and Roger, NSW, March 2014
 

"Very well thought out with a good variety of locations and vegetation for the hikes"
Jill, NSW, March 2014

History

For dates, availability & customisations Enquire






.

West Coast Trail - Free Field and History Guide

On the West Coast Trail we provide you a comprehensive field and history summary of the West Coast.
wcbWest Coast Trail Attractions  
  • Maori History
  • Fauna
  • Flora
  • Geology
  • Did You Know?
  • And more...

People


According to legend, the Maori chief Ngahue was brought to the West Coast of the South Island around 950 AD by the canoe Tahiriangi

Archaeological evidence suggests the first Maori settlers lived a coastal existence; exploring the mountains and bush in search of pounamu (jade or greenstone).

Because of the hardness of pounamu, it was prized for making ornaments tools and weapons of warfare.

Ngati Waewae, a hapu (sub-tribe) of Ngai Tahu, claimed ownership of much of the West Coast.

In 1831 a band of invaders from the North Island defeated Poutini Ngai Tahu and briefly obtained control of the main pounamu gathering sites, including the Arahura River. They remained for a few years, but when they withdrew around 1837, Poutini Ngai Tahu regained control of the region.

The first European settlers arrived in the early 19th century however it was the discovery of gold and coal that drove the main settlement of Europeans to the West Coast in the late 19th century.


Flora and Fauna


Flora: A huge area of the West Coast remains in an almost original state. Some areas nearer the coast have been cleared for farming and mining but there remains huge areas of conifer, broadleaf and beech forests.

Fauna: Because of the large forested areas on the West Coast, the abundance of native birds is greater than in most other parts of New Zealand. Conifer and broadleaf forests tend to support larger bird populations than beech forest because it is richer in food sources.

Before the arrival of man the area was populated by an abundance of bird life. Previously as an important food source for Maori and more recently because of the introduction of cats, stoats, ferrets and weasels by the European settlers, bird numbers and varieties have been drastically reduced.

Fortunately the region hosts a number of rare and protected birds such as kea, the New Zealand falcon, rock wrens, black stilt, wrybills, and black–fronted terns and these can still be seen today.

Introduced deer, thar, and chamois can also be found here and are hunted recreationally.

The Tranz Alpine railway
The Tranz Alpine railway
New Zealand Pounamu
New Zealand Pounamu
Wild West Coast Surf!
Wild West Coast Surf!


Industry

It is about 457 metres (1800 ft) above sea level rising to 2660 metres (7500 ft). Its size is just over 25,000 acres and currently has 11,000 merino sheep, 3000 deer and 500 cattle. Tourism and hunting concession areas cover some 75,000 acres.

Dates For This Summer

 

Monday 27th February 2017


Please enquire for other tour dates for your group
btn enquire
 
West Coast download


West Coast Trail Walkers said...


"We would certainly recommend it. Excellent for our group of friends. Great to have everything so well organised and no decisions to make."
Dianne and Roger, NSW, March 2014
 

"Very well thought out with a good variety of locations and vegetation for the hikes"
Jill, NSW, March 2014
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new zealand: 0800 377 378
australia: 1800 044 633
world: +64 3 962 3280
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