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Starting in Christchurch, this 5-day, 90-mile journey will take you along the West Coast Wilderness Trail—the undisputed superstar of South Island cycling. Gear up for a sensory extravaganza: hear the roar of crashing waves, rush through ancient rainforests, and pedal along glacial rivers. Prepare to be enchanted by Hokitika Gorge’s turquoise allure, awe-struck by Punakaiki’s legendary Pancake Rocks, and mesmerized by the hidden marvels of Paparoa National Park. Each day, uncover different treasures: gold rush relics, whimsical wildlife, and charming towns bursting with flavors and character. End the tour with style and take the TranzAlpine train through the snow-capped spectacle of the Southern Alps—finishing where you started, but richer for a thrilling cycling escapade showcasing the best of New Zealand!

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  • West Coast's unspoilt nature

    Experience everything from snow-capped peaks and dense rainforests to turquoise waters and dramatic coastlines

  • Unforgettable riding

    Ride in diverse terrains of the West Coast Wilderness Trail, from off-road tracks to historic railways and coastal routes

  • Rich cuisine and cultural heritage

    Indulge in unique dining, and stay in character-filled accommodations that reflect the region’s gold rush history

Itinerary

Experience the best of New Zealand's cycling along the West Coast Wilderness Trail. Ride through the magical landscapes nestled between the Southern Alps and the Tasman sea. Stay in charming accommodations and savor delicious meals included in the tour. Explore character-filled towns, and marvel at iconic sights such as the turquoise Hokitika Gorge and the legendary Pancake Rocks of Punakaiki. This all-inclusive adventure invites you to embrace the superb cycling, stunning landscapes, and the allure of New Zealand’s South Island.

  • Meet your New Zealand West Coast cycling guide and fellow riders in downtown Christchurch at 6am. After a quick gear check, get a drive across the picturesque Canterbury Plains and cross Arthur’s Pass, famous for its majestic snow-capped peaks. Reach the old gold rush town of Ross, backed by landscapes cloaked in native bush. After a late lunch, saddle up for your first ride on the West Coast Wilderness Trail. Pedal along a rail trail that leads to the Treetop Walkway (optional), offering a bird’s-eye view of Lake Mahinapua’s rainforest. Cruise to Hokitika, a charming town known for pounamu (greenstone) and arts & crafts. Immerse yourself in its dramatic beach and famous sunsets.

    Cycling: 33 km/22 miles
    Meals: Lunch and dinner

    Lake Mahinapua in New Zealand’s region of West Coast.
  • Venture inland through rural parts of the country to the bush-lined Kaniere water race, where babbling waters accompany your flowing ride. Follow the shores of Lake Kaniere, reaching the small township of Kokatahi for a picnic lunch. Experience the surreal beauty of Hokitika Gorge, with its turquoise waters and granite boulders. Return to Hokitika to explore the town and relish another West Coast sunset. Enjoy dinner in one of the town’s many restaurants and pubs.

    Cycling: 40 km/24 miles
    Meals: Breakfast and lunch

    Hokitika Gorge and its dramatic cliffs and turquoise waters, one of the highlights of cycling the West Coast Wilderness Trail.
  • Return to Lake Kaniere and continue your ride through amazing bush trails. Make a coffee stop at Milltown, famous for its saw-milling history. Cross a swing bridge and enjoy a kilometer of switchback climbing to reach the highpoint. Enjoy breathtaking views as you descend through water races, bush tracks, and reservoir roads to Kumara. Stay overnight in a beautiful historic hotel.

    Cycling: 55 km/34 miles
    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

    Cyclists seen from above as they cross a switchback road immersed in greenery, in New Zealand.
  • Start the fourth day of the adventure on the Wilderness Trail, cycling north to Greymouth along riverside and coastal pathways. Discover highlights like the old road and rail bridge before indulging in a café lunch. Explore Paparoa National Park, including the Pororari River’s limestone gorge and the Truman Track through striking sub-tropical forest. Take a leisurely stroll around Punakaiki’s Dolomite Point, famous for its Pancake Rocks and blowholes. Enjoy a group dinner and reflect on your West Coast adventure.

    Cycling: 30 km/19 miles
    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

    Pororari river framed by dramatic cliffs, seen while riding the West Coast Wilderness Trail in New Zealand.
  • Bid farewell to the West Coast as you begin your journey back to Christchurch. Enjoy one last ride along quiet roads to reach Moana on the shores of Lake Brunner, where you can take a refreshing dip. Board the TranzAlpine train for an unforgettable journey across the Southern Alps, rated as one of the world’s top train rides—or take a normal ride home with the rest of the group. You’ll arrive in Christchurch around 6.30pm. Say goodbye to your West Coast cycling guide, fellow riders, and to New Zealand—or continue touring on your own!

    Cycling: 25 km/15 miles
    Meals: Breakfast

    Scenery of New Zealand’s Southern Alps seen while on a TranzAlpine train ride.
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Meet your guide

Adventure South NZ
5.00
Adventure South NZ
Adventure South NZ is the leading provider of fully supported, guided adventures offering a wide range of over 40 high-quality trips across New Zealand and beyond. Specializing in cycling, mountain biking, and hiking, they are passionate about delivering exceptional experiences while taking care of all the logistics. Accompanied by experienced guides, travelers will explore New Zealand's natural wonders and gain insights into the local culture. At Adventure South NZ, small group travel is prioritized to minimize environmental impact and create immersive and personalized experiences. With over 30 years of experience, their expertise lies in crafting unforgettable active holidays.

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5.00 (6 reviews)
Dan Fletcher

Adventure South NZ (and Mike, my guide) was a great guide to the southern island. Organized, knowledgeable, kind and fun. Had a great time.

JL F (source: Google Reviews)

The West Coast Wilderness Ride was very well organised, great communication before hand and on the ride / tour, good bikes, good food, good lengths of days, good side trips of the bikes as well. Highly recommend would ride with Adventure South NZ most happily again

Jolene Marks (source: Google Reviews)

Such a great trip for all ages and fitness levels. We had an awesome group of people and great guides. It was well organised and the accommodation / food was great at every location. Would happy to another trip with Adventure South.

Linda McKindley (source: Google Reviews)

I had an amazing time with Adventure South. I did both the South Lakes and the West Coast Cycle tours. The guides were very knowledgeable and changed routes as needed to keep us safe. They did everything they could to keep everyone happy. If you want to do a cycling or hiking tour look no further. They are a New Zealand company with guides that live in New Zealand.

Tracey Odonnell (source: Google Reviews)

A truly amazing adventure! The views, the mountain tracks, the variety of the terrain all made this a fantastic ride. All the accommodation was excellent and the food fabulous. Thankyou Mike for all your organising and planning ahead. You had so much knowledge to share with us about New Zealand and made our trip really memorable. Thankyou for picking amazing lunch and break spots so we could appreciate the beauty of New Zealand, the hot tea and coffee and most of all your checked table cloth and apron. Excellent!

Jill Valmadre (source: Google Reviews)

What a wonderful trip we had. Adventure South were an amazing group to travel with, our leaders were so helpful, fun and knowledgeable. Would highly recommend them. Nothing was too much trouble, the food wines and accommodations were all spot on. And the ride was, well, breathtaking. Thoroughly enjoyed it, thank you. We will be back.

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • An experienced New Zealand cycling guide with extensive knowledge of the area
      • 5 days of cycling on various sections of the West Coast Wilderness Trail
      • Comfortable motel/lodge ensuite accommodation on twin share basis
      • Transportation during the adventure
      • Full vehicle support along the trail including trailer for luggage
      • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 3 dinners)
      • Tasty and nutritious snacks, drinks and treats during rides
      • Pre-departure information kit to help you plan and prepare
      • Concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation
      • Transportation

    What’s not included:

      • Transportation to Christchurch
      • Bike and helmet (can be rented for an additional fee of $95)
      • Meals not indicated in the itinerary and beverages (except during breakfast)
      • Single room supplement — optional
      • Any personal expenses
      • Optional activities (like Tree Top Walkway and TranzAlpine ride – can be included upon booking)
      • Travel insurance
      • Guide gratuities — optional
  • To participate in this New Zealand guided cycling trip, you need to have a moderate level of fitness. You will ride wide trails, narrow water races, and boardwalks, sometimes covering undulating hills and between 15 and 35 miles a day. We recommend engaging in approximately 2 hours of cycling per week for at least three months leading up to your trip.

    Training on compacted gravel trails and sealed roads is highly recommended, as it will better prepare you for the terrain you will encounter. Additionally, completing a multi-day ride prior to your trip will help you acclimate to extended periods of time in the saddle. The more you train on hills and compacted gravel, the more enjoyable your journey will be.

    That said, it needs to be stipulated that the West Coast Wilderness Trail is designed to cater to cyclists of all levels. With its easy gradients and occasional hills, it offers an experience suitable for cyclists with varying abilities. Furthermore, to ensure that everyone can partake in our cycling holidays, your guide service offers e-Bikes rentals, providing pedaling assistance for those who may need it, as well as a gentler experience on the knees and joints compared to traditional bikes. However, it’s important to note that you still need to pedal, and e-Bikes are generally heavier overall.

  • If you’ve never cycled or mountain biked before, don’t worry! The West Coast Wilderness Trail is graded from introductory to moderate difficulty, making it accessible for beginners. While a reasonable level of fitness is still required, this trail offers a great opportunity for you to embark on your cycling or mountain biking journey.

    We recommend starting with some basic cycling training to familiarize yourself with riding a bike. Begin by practicing on flat surfaces and gradually build up your confidence and stamina. It’s also beneficial to complete shorter multi-day rides (preferably on compact gravel) prior to your trip to get used to spending extended periods of time in the saddle.

    Additionally, your guides are experienced professionals who will provide support and guidance throughout the trip. They will ensure that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to navigate the trail safely and enjoyably. You should also keep in mind that you’ll have the option to get to the next point in the support vehicle if riding gets too strenuous.

    If you’re still concerned about your fitness level or lack of experience, you may consider renting an e-Bike. These bikes provide pedaling assistance, making it easier to tackle the trail. They are simple to operate and offer a more gentle experience on your knees and joints compared to traditional bikes.

    If you’re looking for something more challenging, check out this mountain biking adventure in New Zealand.

  • Here’s what you’ll need:

      • Your mountain bike or your e-bike and helmet (can be rented)
      • Necessary spares
      • Comfortable riding or athletic clothing, preferably moisture wicking or synthetic material
      • Sneakers or sport shoes
      • Breathable outside layer or jacket
      • Sunglasses
      • Water bottles or hydration bladder
      • Daypack large enough to bring all the items you may need during one day.
      • Biking gloves are optional but recommended
      • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
      • Leisure clothes to wear when not riding

    Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. You will get a more detailed and comprehensive list of equipment and clothes you should bring once the trip is confirmed. The packing list will largely depend on whether you join the tour in the summer/early fall months (November through April) or cooler winter/early spring months (May through October).

  • Rest assured, the accommodations during the guided New Zealand cycling tour are carefully chosen for comfort, value, and convenient locations, mostly offering twin or double ensuite rooms. You can expect a combination 3* and 4* hotels and family-owned heritage accommodation that are rich in local character.

    If joining the New Zealand guided adventure on your own, you’ll share the room with another cyclist of the same gender. Single supplements are available for those who prefer their own room, subject to additional cost and availability.

    The meals on the tour will sometimes be served at your accommodations, at local restaurants or in a form of picnic lunches. Some dietary restrictions and preferences may be accommodated, just make sure you let your guide know in advance (you can leave a note when booking).

  • Group sizes and prices:

      • The maximum group size for this group tour is 14 participants.
      • If more than 8 people join the tour, 2 guides will accompany the group.
      • The minimum number of participants that need to join for this group to operate is 4.
      • The cost does not decrease as the group grows.

    Cycling on the South Island in New Zealand can be arranged for bigger groups. Contact us prior to booking.

    Min. age requirements:

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • Children as young as 10 are able to go on trips with a legal guardian. That said, if you have a young rider strong enough to handle sustained climbs (either riding or walking their bike) of hundreds of feet, and rough terrain, then they may be able to participate on a case-by-case basis.

    If your group has riders under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • To get to Christchurch, the starting point of the tour, most people fly into Christchurch Airport. Alternatively, you can fly into other airports in New Zealand (or Australia) and board another flight/take a shuttle service to Christchurch.

    You will meet your New Zealand cycling guide in the morning on Day 1 at Cathedral Junction (downtown Christchurch) at 6am.

    Keep in mind that most people arrive in the city the day before the tour starts and stay in the city for an additional night after the end of the tour. Catching international flights the day the tour ends is not recommended. Keep in mind that the tour finishes around 6.30pm on the same location where it starts.

  • 57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

    We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in New Zealand please refer to the official New Zealand Travel Website.

    Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

  • Deposits

    You can secure one of the set dates with a 30% deposit upon booking. The remaining 70% of the trip price is to be paid 90 days prior to departure, at the latest.

    Secure your early bird spot with a 10% deposit! This tour gets sold out very quickly, but with early-bird booking, you will be the first one to know about any new upcoming dates. Pick your preferred dates without the risk of your bucket list adventure selling out!

    • Only 10% of the total amount should be paid as a deposit upon booking. This deposit is non-refundable, but can be transferred to another 57hours adventure anytime in case the dates don’t suit you.
    • Once the dates are set, you can confirm your booking by paying another 20% of the total amount.
    • The final balance is due 3 months (90 days) prior to departure.

    Cancellations

    Booking fees are non-refundable in all cases. During checkout, however, you can choose one of 57hours’ flexibility options:

    Basic

    • In case of cancellation within 48 hours after booking, the amount paid is fully refundable.
    • For cancellations 60 or more days before the trip, you are eligible for a 70% refund of the trip price.
    • For cancellations 0-59 days before the trip, there is no refund.

    Flexible

    • In case of cancellation within 48 hours after booking, the amount paid is fully refundable.
    • For cancellations 60 or more days before the trip, you are eligible for a full refund of the trip price.
    • For cancellations 30-59 days before the trip, you are eligible for a 50% refund of the trip price.
    • For cancellations 0-29 days before the trip, there is no refund.

    Super Flexible

    • In case of cancellation within 48 hours after booking, the amount paid is fully refundable.
    • For cancellations 30 or more days before the trip, you are eligible for a full refund of the trip price.
    • For cancellations 0-29 days before the trip, you are eligible for a 50% refund of the trip price.
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