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Overview
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Walk/Cycle West Coast - 8 Days

Start:ChristchurchTours run:November - April (On demand)
End:Christchurch
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easy grade
Duration:8 days/7 nights
NZ $3,900.00
excl GST
Walking
Cycling






 

Qualmark smallGold-423

Walk/Cycle West Coast

 


Immerse yourself in the natural beauty and history of the famous West Coast with 4 easy days of cycling followed by 4 days of magical walking
 
The first 4 days we spend cycling in a landscape rich in beauty and history.  Distances average around 30 km a day, and the cycling is suitable for beginners and families.

Where else can you see such diversity: towns, alps,lakes, rivers, wetlands, ocean and native bush, all in such close proximity?

The next 4 days are walking and you experience a diverse range of rugged and dramatic landscapes including  alpine bush, Franz Josef and Fox glaciers, historical gold trails, wondrous coastal beaches, captivating lakes and luxuriant West Coast rainforests.

Some of the short walks are in the spectacular Te Wahipounamu South West New Zealand World Heritage Area.


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Book now for Next Season!

 

2018 / 2019


We can build a tour especially for your group, please enquire for dates available.

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Dates and Availability?

Tours run:November - April (On demand)
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We can customise tours to suit.

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Itinerary & Map

For dates, availability & customisations Enquire






Qualmark smallGold-423
 


Walk/Cycle West Coast

 


Immerse yourself in the natural beauty and history of the famous West Coast with 4 easy days of cycling followed by 4 days of magical walking
 
 


WCWestCoast-357-258-446

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Day 1  Greymouth to Kumara - 29km


Welcome along! Your tour begins with a scenic coach journey from Christchurch across the Canterbury Plains and over Arthurs Pass to Greymouth. Originally established as home for hundreds of gold and coal miners following the 1860’s gold rush , Greymouth today enjoys popularity as a base for fishing, hiking and other recreational activities with its wild river, rugged native bush-covered hills and pounding surf.

Today from Greymouth you’ll start your ride cycling 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.

Tonight your overnight stay is in a charming historic hotel in Kumara
 


Day 2  Kumara to Milltown - 37km


The West Coast Wilderness Cycle Trail 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 3 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 4 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.
Ross is a small West Coast town where New Zealand’s largest gold nugget, “The Honourable Roddy” was found. .
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.
We then  return to Hokitika for the night.
 


Day 5 Hokitika to Franz Josef


We depart from Hokitika on a short scenic drive to Ross.
Your guide will take you on an expedition along the Water Race Walkway, which is an historic gold trail that winds its way up the hill behind the township.

Stride through the regenerating bush and pass a network of water races that supplied water to the sluicing operations of the Ross Goldfields. There will be an opportunity to pan for gold here. Enjoy a picnic lunch before starting the Hari Hari Coastal Walk. Following the old packhorse tracks alongside the Wanganui River you will experience a mixture of bush and beach walking.

Tonight you will enjoy an evening meal in the interesting alpine village of Franz Josef, nestled at the foot of the Southern Alps.
 


Day 6  Franz Josef to Okarito to Franz Josef


This morning’s walk will start in Okarito, a small coastal settlement surrounded by the panorama of ocean, tidal estuary, sea cliffs, lush forest and unsurpassed views of the Southern Alps.

Indulge in amazing panoramic views of the Westland National Park coastline before your guide leads you along the inland route, and then over the Kohuamarua Bluff. This is a great spot to meander through towering rimu, rata and silver pine forest, before dropping down to a quiet sheltered lagoon.

After lunch you can take a peek inside the hut on the old jetty at Okarito. Here you can view old photos of the area and there is a storyboard illustrating the history of Okarito. We then go on an exclusive boat tour on the lagoon and hear about and see the abundant flora and fauna of the area

Enjoy another night in Franz Josef village and a great meal with your group.
Todays itinerary maty be reversed as the walk is tide dependant.
 


Day 7  Franz Josef to Fox Glacier


This morning depart on foot from the centre of Franz Josef township, your guide will lead the group along the Te Ara a Waiau Walkway. The track heads into the forest on the left-hand side of the road for a short time, before re-emerging from the forest and crossing the glacier valley access road. From this point you begin the Franz Josef Glacier Walk, following a rocky path over the riverbed and along the track that will take you close to the ice. (Dependant on conditions) From here it is back to the carpark and all aboard for Fox Glacier

This afternoon you will view the dramatic ice on the Fox Glacier Walk. After inspecting ice in the river and enjoying the boulder hopping, you view the striking terminal ice face, which is a spectacular experience.

With a very unique and diverse day of walking under your belt you overnight in the town of Fox Glacier and enjoy restaurant dining with fantastic views of the area.
 


Day 8  Fox Glacier to Hokitika


Today is the final day of your walking tour, before breakfast, you will take in truly stunning vistas on the Lake Matheson Walk. Your group will stroll along a very pleasant track with plenty of viewing platforms for capturing the famous mirror images of Mount Cook, Tasman and La Perous from different angles.

The lake is nestled in ancient forest in the Te Wahipounamu South-West New Zealand World Heritage Area, which includes the Westland Tai Pountini National Park. The lake was formed over 14,000 years ago when the Fox Glacier retreated from its last major advance towards the sea and left a depression which later filled with water.

After your walk around Lake Matheson you will enjoy a hearty and much deserved breakfast before setting off back to Hokitika.

Your tour, finishes in Hokitika or Christchurch
Accommodation:
  • Walking,Cycling
 
Hrs, KM


Book now for Next Season!

 

2018 / 2019


We can build a tour especially for your group, please enquire for dates available.

btn enquire


Franz Josef download
 
 


What's Included

For dates, availability & customisations Enquire






Qualmark smallGold-423



Walk/Cycle West Coast



Immerse yourself in the natural beauty and history of the famous West Coast with 4 easy days of cycling followed by 4 days of magical walking
 


Accommodation

  • Night 1:  - Charming historic hotel, Private rooms with ensuite
  • Night 2:  - Modern beachfront hotel. Private rooms with ensuite
  • Night 3:  - Modern beachfront hotel. Private rooms with ensuite
  • Night 4 : - Modern beachfront hotel. Private rooms with ensuite
  • Night 5:  - Modern motel units with king bed, or king and single bed, kitchenette and ensuite bathroom.
  • Night 6:  - Modern motel units with king bed, or king and single bed, kitchenette and ensuite bathroom.
  • Night 7:  - Modern motel studio units with queen or queen and single beds, ensuite bathroom and great
                    mountain views.
Double or twin share. If single room accommodation is requested, an additional fee (NZD$875) per person is payable to cover this requirement for the duration of the tour.


Bike Hire

Bike Hire                   NZD$180
Electric Bike Hire      NZD$400
 

Food

qc18tYou 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. Alcohol is not included in the tour cost, but is available for purchase.
 


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
 


Tour Kit Bag - Exclusive to Tuatara Tours 

kit


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




 
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
  • Tuatara Tours brochures
  • Field & History Guide of the area
  • Bag of Tuatara scroggin
  •  
Contents may vary from time to time!  
 
This will be given to you at the start of your tour.

 

An experienced guide

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.
 

All transport

 

Access and Concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation

 

NZ Goods and Service Tax (GST)

 

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.
 


Book now for Next Season!

 

2018 / 2019


We can build a tour especially for your group, please enquire for dates available.

btn enquire


Franz Josef download
 
 


Photos

For dates, availability & customisations Enquire








Book now for Next Season!

 

2018 / 2019


We can build a tour especially for your group, please enquire for dates available.

btn enquire


Franz Josef download
 
 


History

For dates, availability & customisations Enquire






 

Qualmark smallGold-423

Walk/Cycle West Coast



Immerse yourself in the natural beauty and history of the famous West Coast with 4 easy days of cycling followed by 4 days of magical walking

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.

Early Maori called Franz Josef, Ka Roimata o Hinehukatere The Tears of the Avalanche Girl (Hinehukatere).

Maori legend explains very poetically how the glaciers advance from snowfields high in the Southern Alps.

Hinehukatere loved climbing in the mountains and persuaded her lover, Tawe, to climb with her. Tawe fell from the peaks to his death. Hinehukatere was broken hearted and her many, many tears froze to form the glacier.

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.

koru2t       pigeon3t       wbait
Tree fern opening Koru                                NZ Native Pigon Kereru                  NZ Whitebait West Coast Delicacy
Industry
Although forestry is still an important industry on the West Coast, logging of nearly all native species has been stopped to preserve the pristine environment for future generations.

Gold and coal mining as well as tourism and fishing are now the main areas of industry in this region.


Book now for Next Season!

 

2018 / 2019


We can build a tour especially for your group, please enquire for dates available.

btn enquire


Franz Josef download