west coast wilderness
The West Coast is New Zealand’s equivalent to the Wild West – a remote 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. Escape by Cycle’s West Coast Wilderness is a 5 day bike tour starting in Christchurch and finishing in Queenstown. [photo: Fraser Clements]
West Coast Wilderness Cycle Tour
- An epic 5 day journey across the Southern Alps, exploring the length of the West Coast, past glaciers, rivers and snow-capped mountains.
- Experience the wild natural beauty of the West Coast, cycling through native New Zealand forests framed by mountains and the sea.
- Visit Franz Josef Glacier – New Zealand’s most famous and fastest moving glacier.
- Experience real New Zealand wilderness on jet boat safari up the remote Haast River.
- Ride the beautiful Wanaka cycle trail following a river between two massive glacial lakes.
- Visit the Hokitika Gorge, West Coast Treetops Walk and Glacier Hot Pools
West Coast Wilderness Trail, Franz Josef, Wanaka Trail
5 Days / 4 Nights
- 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.
- Visit Franz Josef glacier with a soak in the Glacier Hot Pools.
- 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, dinner
– Days 2-4: breakfast, lunch and dinner
– Day 5: breakfast and lunch
All meals are high quality, 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.
West Coast Wilderness: Coaster Classic Tour Itinerary
- Day 1 – Pick-up from Christchurch and drive to Greymouth stopping for a picnic near Arthurs Pass. Ride the first 30km of the West Coast Wilderness trail to a beautiful restored hotel in Kumara.
- Day 2 – After breakfast, continue your ride past the scenic Kapitea Reservoir up into the foothills of the Southern Alps. The trails winds it’s way past gold mining relics and small hydro dams then enjoy some gentle flowing downhill into the Arahura valley where we meet you for lunch. Stop for afternoon tea at the beautiful Lake Kaniere then continue on a fun ride beside an old water race. We spend the night near Hokitika.
- Day 3 – Visit the magnificent Hokitika Gorge for a scenic walk, then resume your ride into Hokitika for lunch and great coffee on the beach. The trail continues on boardwalks around Lake Mahinapua then take a stroll through the forest canopy at the West Coast Treetops Walk. The trail ends at Ross where we stay at unique beach front accommodation watching the sun set into the sea.
- Day 4 – We take a break from cycling today and drive down the coast to visit the mighty Franz Josef Glacier. Take a short walk to see the glacier, we take a short but stunning ride through native bush beside the river then after lunch, enjoy a soak in the Glacier hot pools. Then continue our drive to stay in the remote outpost of Haast.
- Day 5 – Start the day with a jet boat safari up the stunning Haast River! Then we drive back over the Southern Alps via the Haast Pass. Back on your bike, ride the between the 2 huge glacial lakes of Hawea and Wanaka. After a final lunch together on the edge of Lake Wanaka, we drop you at your accommodation in Queenstown in the late afternoon.
* 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 finish the tour in Wanaka or Queenstown. Drop-offs to nearby locations can be arranged.
- It’s possible to book a scenic helicopter flight at Franz Josef (not included).
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