FAQ’s & Reviews

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to cycle the West Coast Wilderness Trail?

There are 4 sections of the West Coast Wilderness Trail, averaging approximately 35km per section. We suggest allowing 3-4 hours cycling time per section, allowing additional time for stopping to take photos, have lunch, and to admire the scenery along the way. It is possible to cycle the trail, including travel time to/from Christchurch within 4 days. This is based on taking the Atomic Travel bus from Christchurch to Greymouth on the morning of Day 1 and the TranzAlpine Train from Greymouth to Christchurch on the afternoon of Day 4. Many people take an extra day before or after their trip to do some sightseeing while on the West Coast.

When is the best time of year to cycle the West Coast Wilderness trail?

This trail can be cycled year round. Being a rain forest, precipitation can occur at any time on the West Coast so do be prepared with appropriate clothing. We have studied long-term weather patterns in this area and while of course Summer is a great time, Winter on the West Coast of the South Island is more temperate than other regions. It is also generally a quieter time of year. On a clear day in Winter the views of the snow capped Southern Alps and Aoraki Mt Cook are simply stunning.

How do I get to the start of the West Coast Wilderness trail?

There are a few ways to do this, with some of them based on getting to Christchurch. It is possible to take an 8:30am bus from Christchurch to Greymouth with Atomic Travel (although in winter months the bus may not operate). Our shuttle can then pick you up and transfer you to section 1 of the trail at Ross.

There are also flights with Air New Zealand in and out of Hokitika Airport. Some people fly into Hokitika and we transfer them to Ross to start the bike ride.

If you would like to take the TranzAlpine train from Christchurch to Greymouth then it requires adding an extra day to your trip as the train arrives a bit late to start cycling from Ross that same day.

How do I get home at the end of my trip?

The last cycling day works really well doing this: Cycle from Kumara to Greymouth in the morning, have lunch in Greymouth (we suggest Monteiths Brewery!), then take the early afternoon TranzAlpine train back to Christchurch.

Atomic Travel have a 1:30pm bus departing Greymouth and arriving into Christchurch at 5:15pm. It does not operate on Thursdays and some Saturdays so it’s best to check their current timetable before making your travel plans.

You could also finish in Greymouth, take our early afternoon shuttle back to Hokitika and then fly out of Hokitika that evening.

Can we park our car at your depot?

At our Hokitika depot, we don’t have secure parking available, which will mean on street parking or maybe at your prior night accommodation. At the end of your bike ride we would shuttle you back to Hokitika so you can collect your vehicle.

In Greymouth, if you’re planning to leave your vehicle there, it means on-street parking, or if you have booked accommodation in Greymouth some providers may allow you to leave your car there while cycling the trail.

Can we bring our own pedals and/or seat?

Yes, you are welcome to, however we do have good options available. Shimano SPD pedals can be fitted to your hire bike upon request, please just let us know when you book your bike hire. All of our bikes have been upgraded with very comfortable seats and we also have extra wide seats available.

Most people find having the hire bike set up with our equipment is easier than bringing their own parts with them. If you do decide to bring your own pedals and/or seat, please advise us when making your booking and make sure to bring any necessary tools to remove them off the bike at the end of your trip.

Reviews

A Great Trip

whioJust wanted to say what a great trip we had last week, and how much we enjoyed it.  All the arrangements you put in place for us went without a hitch.  The accommodation arranged was excellent, especially the Sundowner Motel in Greymouth.

Chris’s support was fantastic.  The arrangements in place for transferring our gear worked perfectly, and his comments and advice on the various aspects of our trip immensely helpful.  We didn’t realise we wouldn’t be catching up with him once we were back in Greymouth, so please pass on our thanks.

Attached are a couple of pictures of whio I took just before we reached Sinclairs on the last day – exactly where Chris said they would be!!   Seeing them and being able to get some terrific photos was one of the highlights of the trip.

Many thanks.
Ralph Gordon

A Fantastic Trip

Overall a fantastic trip and thank you, Cycle Journeys, and Chris Steel for making this such a wonderful and enjoyable experience for Marilyn and myself. Also, thank you Craig for your personal service in putting our itinerary together. I look forward to dealing with yourself when we come to cycle the Alps to Ocean Trail.

David & Marilyn B – Nov 2017

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