Day 1: Christchurch to Arthurs Pass
You depart from Christchurch and travel along the Great Alpine Highway to Castle Hill where you walk amidst the distinctive limestone rock formations.
From here you travel to Arthurs Pass where we visit the Department of Conservation Visitor Centre and learn all about the history of this fascinating area before you undertake a local walk which will be decided on the day by the guide.
Tonight you stay in comfortable motels in Arthurs Pass.
Day 2: Arthurs Pass to Greymouth
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 in Greymouth 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) (addtional cost)
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.