Iconic West Coast
Walk/Cycle 7 Days
Immerse yourself in the natural beauty and history of the famous West Coast with 4 easy days of walking followed by 4 days of magical cycling
Click Map to Enlarge
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 Greymouth to Kumara
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. Once this walk is finished we head to Greymouth where we start our cycling Adventure.
We cycle 12km down a coastal path on a raised dune system. Along the way enjoy views over several small settlements and the surrounding countryside as you follow the spectacular coastline of the Tasman Sea.
The trail then continues on the scenic route south to Taramakau, between Greymouth and Hokitika. Turning inland from here, you’ll head to Kumara along a historic tramway. Kumara is a former gold mining town and home of one of New Zealand’s greatest early politicians, Richard Seddon. Toital cycling distance today is 29km
Tonight your overnight stay is in a charming historic hotel in Kumara
Day 5 Kumara to Milltown - 37km
Action continues this morning with a ride through rainforest as you head towards Milltown.
This section of the route (and indeed the trail itself) is certain to become one of New Zealand’s most popular cycle rides, offering stunning scenery and fascinating local history. You will pass through some of the best stands of native forest left in New Zealand on your journey today.
Milltown overlooks the Arahura Valley, an area once rich in gold and still known as the source of the highly prized pounamu (greenstone).
Tonight your stay is in Hokitika, a pretty seaside town known for its greenstone carving industry and home to many artisans and craftspeople.
Day 6 Milltown to Hokitika - 33km
Your ride today starts at the head of the Arahura River, which rises from the Southern Alps and meets the Tasman Sea just north of Hokitika.
You’ll pass water raceways, rich dairy farmland and the tranquil Lake Kaniere, described by some as” the most beautiful lake in New Zealand”. Formed by glacial erosion in the last ice age, Lake Kaniere itself is only 8 km long and 2 km wide but can be as deep as 195 metres in places and is surrounded by verdant native bush, making it a popular spot for campers and holiday makers in the summer. You bike through a section of towering ancient rimu forest and tree ferns.
Tonight, you’ll spend a second night in Hokitika.
Day 7 Hokitika to Ross - 33km
Your day starts with an easy coastal ride, then follows the bush tramway past Lake Mahinapua. It is a great ride through typical West Coast bush and wetlands.
The final leg of the cycle ride follows a disused railway line with a number of distinctive wooden bridges and wild west coast coastal scenery to your next and final stop the gold mining, farming and forestry town of Ross.
We stop in at the West Coast Treetop Walkway and Cafe for lunch and a walk amongst the treetops with the birds on the specially constructed walkway.
Your tour ends at mid-day in Greymouth.
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) (addtional cost) or
Tuatara Tours 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.