The West Coast is New Zealand’s equivalent to the Wild West – an isolated strip of spectacular coastline between the Southern Alps and the Tasman Sea. Famous for its rugged natural beauty, snow-capped mountains and wild black sand beaches, it feels like you’ve slipped back in time to an era of pioneers and gold miners. Biking the West Coast Wilderness Cycle Trail is one of the best ways to experience this magical place. We offer two West Coast Wilderness cycle tours options:
- The Pony Express – a 4 day bike tour starting and finishing in Christchurch; or
- The Coaster Classic – a 5 day bike tour starting in Christchurch and finishing in Queenstown.
West Coast Wilderness: Pony ExpressPony Express West Coast Bike Tour Highlights
- A 4 day journey across the frontier and back again.
- Take the TranzAlpine – one of the great train rides of the world – from patchwork farmland of the Canterbury plains, across the spine of the Southern Alps to the West Coast frontier.
- Experience the wild natural beauty of the West Coast, cycling through native New Zealand forests framed by mountains and the sea.
- Enjoy great food, staying at places with real character and charm.
- Stroll through the forest canopy on the West Coast Treetops Walk.
- Visit the stunning Hokitika Gorge.
4 Days / 3 Nights. Tues – Fri
Start / Finish
A 4 day tour, with 3 days of easy cycling on the West Coast Wilderness Trail.
3 nights at hotel, lodge and unique beachfront accommodation..
Return tickets on the TranzAlpine train – the gateway to your adventure.
Entrance to the West Coast Treetop Walkway and Café.
Visit the increadible Hokitika Gorge
Your choice of a latest technology e-bike or mountain bike. E-bikes make your journey easier and more comfortable.
– Day 1: Lunch (on the train), dinner
– Days 2-3: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
-Day 4: Breakfast
All meals are high quality with fresh local produce. Lunches may include either cafés or amazing make-your-own picnics provided on the trail. Vegetarians and vegans welcome!
Our expert tour leaders provide insight and background to the areas and make sure you are comfortable with your bikes and equipment.
Full vehicle support – in case you ever want to take a break from riding or skip a section.
Snacks provided on trail – fresh fruit, nuts, bars, lollies and chocolates.
Drink breaks on the trail include: a selection of teas, plunger coffee and water.
Any drinks or coffees purchased on pubs, restaurants or cafes.
Pony Express West Coast Bike Tour Itinerary
- Day 1 – Take the TranzAlpine from Christchurch to Greymouth, where your tour leader will greet you as you step off the train with a fully stocked van and a trailer full of bikes. Ride the first 30km of the West Coast Wilderness trail to a beautiful restored hotel in Kumara.
- Day 2 – After breakfast, you continue riding to the scenic Kapitea Reservoir. The trails winds up into the foothills of the mountains then flows gentle downhill back down into the Arahura valley and on to the beautiful Lake Kaniere. We spend the night near Hokitika.
- Day 3 – We visit the magnificent Hokitika Gorge in the morning, then continue riding through Hokitika and on to the old historic Mahinapua Tramline. We take a break from cycling to visit the West Coast Treetops Walk, then get back in the saddle to finish the trail at Ross Beach and stay at unique accommodation right on the beach, where you can watch the sun set into the sea.
- Day 4 – After a final stroll on the beach (or a swim if you are brave!) you return to the TranzAlpine train and complete your journey, back across the mountains to civilisation.
* This itinerary is indicative only and is subject to change
Pony Express West Coast Bike Tour Options
- Choose between a brand new high spec e-bike, or top quality mountain bike, or a brand new latest technology e-bike (subject to availability). Included in your tour price.
- Pick-ups and drop-offs from alternate locations may be possible, depending on the location.
- Private bike tours can be arranged for groups. Please let us know your dates and requirements and let us do all the organising for you. Pricing depends on availability of accommodation and group number.
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West Coast Wilderness: Coaster Classic
Coaster Classic West Coast Cycle Tour Highlights
- An epic journey across the Southern Alps, exploring the length of the West Coast, past glaciers, rivers and snow-capped mountains.
- The “Coaster Classic” includes everything in the “Pony Express” (except the train ride back to Christchurch) and continues down the West Coast and back over the Southern Alps for more adventures.
- Learn how Pounamu (New Zealand Greenstone) has been traditionally carved by Maori (NZ’s indigenous people) for centuries.
- Visit Franz Josef Glacier – New Zealand’s most famous and fastest moving glacier.
- Experience real New Zealand wilderness on the remote Haast River jet boat safari.
- Ride the beautiful Wanaka cycle trail following a river between two massive glacial lakes.
West Coast Wilderness Trail, Wanaka Trail
5 Days / 4 Nights. Tues – Sat
Christchurch Railway Station
Wanaka or Queenstown
- 5 day tour with 4 days of cycling on the West Coast Wilderness and Wanaka cycle trails.
- 4 nights on the West Coast, at a selection of charming hotels, b&b and unique beachfront accommodation.
- One-way ticket on the TranzAlpine train journey – your gateway to the West Coast.
- Visit Franz Josef glacier with optional extra activities.
- Visit to the West Coast Treetop Walkway and Café.
- Jet Boat Safari on the Haast River.
- All transport on tour and drop-off to your hotel in Wanaka or Queenstown.
- Your choice of a latest technology e-bike or mountain bike. E-bikes make your journey easier and more comfortable.
- Meals included:
– Day 1: Lunch on the train, dinner
– Days 2-4: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
– Day 5: Breakfast and lunch
All meals are high quality, made with fresh local produce. Lunches may include either a visit to top local cafés or our famous make-your-own picnics.
- Our expert local tour leaders provide insight and background to the areas you visit and show you how to use your bike and equipment.
- Full vehicle support – in case you ever want to take a break from riding or skip a section.
- Snacks provided on the trails – fresh fruit, nuts, bars, sweets and chocolate-coated coffee beans!
- Drinks provided on the trail – tea, coffee and water.
- Any alcohol, drinks or barista coffees purchased in pubs, restaurants or cafés.
- At Franz Josef, you can take a walk to the glacier (free) or you may choose to take a scenic helicopter flight, take a glacier ice walk or visit the hot pools. These extra activities are not included in the tour price.
West Coast Wilderness: Coaster Classic Tour Itinerary
- Days 1, 2 and 3 – Identical to the Pony Express.
- Day 4 – We give you a break from cycling today. We visit the coastal town of Hokitika and learn about traditional pounamu carving. Then we head into glacier country and visit the mighty Franz Josef Glacier. You can take the scenic walk to the glacier (free – 1.5hrs return) or choose from a range of other activities scenic helicopter flight or hot pools (not included). We stay the night in Haast.
- Day 5 – Start the day with a jet boat ride up the Haast River. Then we drive over the Southern Alps stopping for a short walk to a waterfall. Across the divide we put you back on your bike to ride the fabulous Wanaka trail between Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka. After a final lunch together on the edge of Lake Wanaka, we drop you at your accommodation in Queenstown around 5pm.
* This itinerary is indicative only and is subject to change.
West Coast Wilderness: Coaster Classic Cycle Tour Options
- You have the choice between a new high tech e-bike or mountain bike – at no extra cost.
- You can choose to finish the tour in Wanaka or Queenstown. Drop-offs to nearby locations can be arranged.
- We will discuss the optional extra activities at Franz Josef and can book these for you.
- Private bike tours can be arranged for groups. Please let us know your dates and requirements as early as possible and let us do all the organising for you. Pricing will depend on the number in your group, and availability of accommodation.
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