The Paparoa Track is New Zealand’s newest Great Walk, and the first to be designed as a shared use track for both cyclists and walkers. The track crosses the Paparoa mountain ranges between the small ex-mining town of Blackball and the busy tourist village of Punakaiki on the South Island’s West Coast.
The nearest towns to the Paparoa Track are Blackball, Punakaiki and Greymouth. See our shuttle timetable for services running from all these towns. We also provide a car relocation service that can transfer your car to the end of the track while you’re mountain biking.
Pike29 Memorial Track
The 29 men killed in the Pike River Mine disaster will be remembered in a number of ways. At the families wishes, the mine site has become part of the Paparoa National Park. A 10.8km track from the former mine site to the Paparoa Track has been built and dedicated to the men. Named the Pike29 Memorial Track in their honour, the opening date is to be confirmed.
The Paparoa Track profile is a 55 kms dual use trail connecting Blackball with Punakaiki. While track users will access from either end and chose their own speed, the track most logically rides from the Blackball end through to Punakaiki. This would involve a climb of some 800m onto the tops and a gradual undulating descent to Punakaiki. For some riders, this track will be a swift one day experience, for others a more modest two day/one night stay.
Walkers are more likely to take two nights en route. The Pike 29 Memorial track drops 10.8kms off the ridge tops down into the Pike River Mine and the memorial to the 29 miners who died in the mine explosion of 2010. This walk can be either an in and out return to the tops, an alternate start to the Paparoa track itself. The opening date for this track is still to be confirmed.
The Department of Conservation put together this great video which shows you just where the Paparoa Track and the new huts are on a bird’s eye view map.