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Travel to the Trail

There are several ways to get to and from the West Coast. Some options may require an additional day of travel time, and other options may vary depending on if it is Summer or Winter.

Our top recommendation is to fly to Hokitika or bus to Greymouth on the morning of Day 1 of the trip, and take the TranzAlpine train back to Christchurch on afternoon of Day 4. This means you would cycle the first trail section on the afternoon of Day 1, and the last trail section on the morning of Day 4. The scenic TranzAlpine Train journey traverses the Southern Alps of the South Island and is rated one of the worlds best train trips, it’s an experience not to miss while you are in this part of New Zealand.

For other options on how to coordinate your travel see below.

Bus – Atomic Travel

Atomic Travel operate a bus service from Christchurch to Greymouth. The bus departs Christchurch from the Bus Exchange in the city centre at 8:15am (or from Christchurch Airport at 7:45am) and arrives at the Greymouth Railway Station at 12:30pm. The Cycle Journeys shuttle will then pick you up and transfer you to the trail start at Ross.
At the end of your bike ride it is also possible to take the Atomic Travel bus from Greymouth back to Christchurch. It departs at 1:20pm and arrives into Christchurch Airport or City Centre at approx 5:15pm.
Note: the bus operates daily (except Thursday) from November to the end of April. There are limited services only from May to October so flying into Hokitika with Air New Zealand may be a better option, and we recommend the TranzAlpine Train at the end of the trip.

Fly – Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand operate flights into Hokitika from several locations in New Zealand. The flights transit via Christchurch Airport. Arrival times into Hokitika are 8:45am or 5:10pm. If you fly in at 8:45am then you can start cycling on the trail that morning. If you fly in at 5:10pm then it means staying the night in Hokitika and starting cycling the next day.
At the end of your bike ride it is possible to fly out of Hokitika. This will mean taking the Cycle Journeys shuttle from the trail end point at Greymouth at 12:30pm, arriving into Hokitika at 1:10pm, then departing Hokitika Airport at 5:35pm. Air New Zealand fly to several locations around New Zealand, with a transit via Christchurch Airport.

Train – TranzAlpine Scenic

The TranzAlpine Train departs Christchurch at 8:15am and arrives into Greymouth at 1:05pm. As the arrival time is too late to get to the trail start and begin cycling, taking the train to Greymouth means staying the night in Greymouth. Our Cycle Journeys shuttle will pick you up the following morning and take you to the trail start point at Ross.
At the end of your bike ride taking the train back to Christchurch works really well. The TranzAlpine departs Greymouth at 2:05pm and arrives into Christchurch at approx 6:30pm. This spectacular train journey is a great way to finish the West Coast Wilderness Trail experience.

Car – Private or Hire Car

Driving from Christchurch to Greymouth or Hokitika takes approx 3.5 hours. If you drive to Greymouth and arrive in time to take our 12:30pm shuttle to Ross then you can start cycling the trail that same afternoon. If you drive directly to Hokitika and arrive by 12:45pm then you can take our same shuttle on to Ross to start cycling.
We do not have any parking facilities at our depot in Hokitika but there is plenty of on-street parking in Hokitika and Greymouth. By parking in Greymouth you would take our Cycle Journeys shuttle from Greymouth – Hokitika – Ross on Day 1. By parking in Hokitika you would take our Cycle Journeys shuttle from Hokitika – Ross on Day 1 and the Greymouth – Hokitika shuttle (back to your car) at 12:30pm on Day 4.

Custom Shuttle

Cycle Journeys offer a private custom shuttle service from Christchurch to and from the West Coast. This can be a great option for groups of 8 people or more. The shuttle will pick you up at a time and location that suits your group.

From Christchurch to Hokitika, the pricing is similar to taking the Atomic Travel bus to Greymouth and then our shuttle from Greymouth to Hokitika, but not only is the pick up more convenient, the overall travel time is 1-1.5 hours less. Custom shuttles are also available from Greymouth or Hokitika back to Christchurch. Please contact us for more details.