West Coast Wilderness Cycle Trail
Wedged between the snow capped peaks of the Southern Alps and the Tasman Sea is one of the South Island's most diverse, rugged and beautiful Cycle Trails. Snaking through the dense rainforests, glacial rivers, lakes and wetlands is the West Coast Wilderness Trail - a graded cycle trail formed from a series of tracks originally carved by pioneering gold miners. The track also follows extensive water races, logging tramways and historic railway lines. This 140km trail opens up some of the West Coast’s wildest and most spectacular natural settings, and our supported trip will find the highlights as well as visit some nearby must-see attractions. From Christchurch we cross the Southern Alps via Arthurs Pass to start cycling the trail at Ross. We experience a treetop canopy walk before continuing along the coast to Hokitika and then inland to the serene setting of Lake Kaniere and the spectacular Hokitika Gorge nestled in the Southern Alps. After negotiating some swing bridges and switchback climbs it's all downhill to our accommodation at the beautifully restored historical Theatre Royal Hotel in Kumara. We enjoy a final night at Punakaiki known for its interesting Pancake Rocks before returning to Christchurch, aboard the TranzAlpine Express, one of New Zealand's great train rides.