West Coast, South Island, NZ

Tel: 0508 28 68 77 (within NZ)
Tel: +64 3 768 6649 (international)

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West Coast Rail Trail

Sector Details

Sector 1

Allow:             at least 1 hour one way unguided or 2 hours with a guide

         or         at least 2 hours return cycling back to Greymouth  (we can arrange a shuttle for your return) or 3 hours with a guide

Features: Shipwreck Point causeway, gold & jade searches on the beaches, Jade Carvers.

The trail starts by following the old coal rail line to the wharf loading bays and their cranes, two monsters used for loading coal into ships. It then follows the flood wall around the fishing basin to the coast. Make sure you pedal out onto the Shipwreck Point Causeway which is a solid pier going out beyond the breakers giving some stunning views along the coast and to the Southern Alps with Mount Cook. It is also a great fishing spot. Ask us about what lures to use or we can hire you a fishing rod.

Click Here to see a printable/saveable map of the sector, or click Trip Route to see a google maps version.


Sector 2

Allow:            1 hour one way unguided or 2 hours with a guide 

         or         2 hours return cycling back to Greymouth or 3 hours with a guide  (we can    arrange a shuttle for your return)

         or  add 3 hours to include a stop off at Shantytown, the regions 1860’s Goldrush Heritage Village.

Features:  Gold & jade searches on the beaches, Paroa Stone Pub, Jade Carvers, Shantytown.

The cycle trail follows the old Coastal Timber Rail line running along the dunes just inside the West Coasts Gold bearing black sand beaches. This really is New Zealand’s Gold Coast. Bring a gold pan and you might strike it rich because there are plenty of people who are!

When you reach the Paroa Stone Pub there are some options before continuing on to the next sector.

  • Well of course you have to go and have a yarn with the publican Bernie and see what his best drop of the day is. He has an amazing collection of Rugby Club ties from around the world. They also do great lunches and dinners. 
  • Take a cycle ride down to the river mouth, it takes about 10 minutes cycling each way. There are great views of the coast and a wetland estuary.
  • This is also a great spot for a BBQ on the beach using the piles of drift wood. We will supply you with a Beach Fire Permit and can organise a picnic lunch hamper with BBQ gear. 
  •  Cross over the road with your bike and go under the rail bridge to cycle up to Shantytown, about a 20 minute ride each way. An amazing Heritage Village with gold panning claims, steam train rides into the rainforest, a saloon with real beer and real girls, and a café.

Click Here to see a printable/saveable map of the sector, or click Trip Route to see a google maps version.


Sector 3

Allow 2 hours.

Features: Penguin Colony, Taramakau road-rail bridge, Tramway Tavern.

From the Paroa Stone Pub the trail then runs parallel to the highway (but not on it) for five kms before ducking near the coast again for a look at the Penguin area. (seasonal).

There is a small estuary off here where you can go on guided kayaking tours for a small fee. 

It then continues to the Taramakau Bridge or known as Bridge 13. It is a multi use single lane timber decked bridge which includes a train track. We reccommend that you get off your bike and walk it across the bridge as it is possible to get your bike tires caught in the train track with unpleasant consequences!!!

And across the bridge you'll find....Yes!    Another pub and café.

Click Here to see a printable/saveable map of the sector, or click Trip Route to see a google maps version.


Sector 4

Allow 1 hour.

Features: Goat cheese farm, Kumara Tramway.

After crossing the Taramakau bridge, the bike track then travels inland on the old Kumara rail tram line to the historic mining town of Kumara. Along the way there is a goat cheese farm with a stall and honesty box. Pickup some delicious cheeses here to have with your pre dinner drinks tonight.

Click Here to see a printable/saveable map of the sector, or click Trip Route to see a google maps version.


Sector 5

Allow 1 hour.

Features: Alpine Mirror Lakes, rainforest ferns and mosses, birdlife, wetlands board walk.

This rail trail section follows a number of old bush tram railways through rainforest, by alpine streams and past mirror-like lakes with amazing mountain reflections if you are there on a still day. The board walk through the wetlands section gives great photos.

Click Here to see a printable/saveable map of the sector, or click Trip Route to see a google maps version.


Sector 6

Allow 1 hour.

Features: Alpine Mirror Lakes, wetlands boardwalk,rainforest ferns and mosses, birdlife.

This rail trail section follows a number of bush trams through rainforest, by alpine streams and past mirror-like lakes with amazing mountain reflections if you are there on a still day. The cycle path takes you across the Old Christchurch Road and follows a canal with great trout fishing and then it winds gently up the Kawhaka Valley. This valley has beautiful view points and will remind you of the New Zealand forests from Lord of The Rings with there ancient moss covered trees.

Once over the Pass you’ll coast along through virgin rainforest with massive Podacarp trees to the Swingbridge.Canyon.

You’ll want to spend a bit of time here as it is also a stunning place among many today. to Milltown which overlooks the Arahura Valley and has panoramic views towards the Tasman Sea.

Click Here to see a printable/saveable map of the sector, or click Trip Route to see a google maps version.


Sector 7

Allow 2 hours.

Features: Rainforest ferns and mosses, trout fishing, birdlife, alpine streams to drink from.

The cycle path takes you across the Old Christchurch Road and follows a canal with great trout fishing and then it winds gently up the Kawhaka Valley. This valley has beautiful view points and will remind you of the New Zealand forests from Lord of The Rings with there ancient moss covered trees.

Click Here to see a printable/saveable map of the sector, or click Trip Route to see a google maps version.


Sector 8

Allow 1 hour.

Features: Rainforest ferns and mosses, trout fishing, birdlife, alpine streams to drink from, Swingbridge Canyon, Cowboy Paradise.

Once over the Pass you’ll coast along through virgin rainforest with massive Podacarp trees to the Swingbridge Canyon.

You’ll want to spend a bit of time here as it is also a stunning place among many today. to Milltown which overlooks the Arahura Valley and has panoramic views towards the Tasman Sea.

Click Here to see a printable/saveable map of the sector, or click Trip Route to see a google maps version.


Sector 9

Allow 1.5 hours.

Features: Arahura River Blue Surge Pools.

Crossing the Arahura River, the ancestral home of Pounamu (jade), to Lake Kaniere.

Click Here to see a printable/saveable map of the sector, or click Trip Route to see a google maps version.


Sector 10

Allow 2 hours.

Features: Farm visits, Lake Kaniere, water race pathway.

You’ll cycle past Lake Kaniere, along extensive old water raceways in magnificent rainforest to fresh pastureland and to Kaniere Village.

Click Here to see a printable/saveable map of the sector, or click Trip Route to see a google maps version.


Sector 11

Allow 2 hours.

Features: Tourist Town, Kaniere Tramline, Farms, Fishing Spots, Dairy Factory, Gold Mining, Jade Carving, Goldroom, Glass blowing, Crafts, Cafes, Historic Cinema.

Following the Hokitika River, this sector gets you into Hokitika, the Jade capital of New Zealand. Give yourself plenty of time to have a look at all the wonderful galleries that you will find here.

We recommend a short walking tour with David Verrall or Brian Ward, they are story teller extraordinaires in the guise of New Zealand's Longest Serving Prime Minister, Richard Seddon and Dr Ebenezer Teichelmann, a long time GP and Doctor Superintendent in Hokitika, see Hokitika activities for more details.

Click Here to see a printable/saveable map of the sector, or click Trip Route to see a google maps version.


Sector 12

                                                               Allow              1 hour one way

                                                                        or          2 hours return to Hokitika

                                           or add   2 hours to do the Rainforest Aerial Tree Tops Walkway

Features: Paddle Boat Cruise section, Lake Mahinapua, birdlife, Tree Tops walkway, 

From Hokitika take a cycle alongside Mahinapua Creek, popular with local trout fishermen or if you want a relaxing sector then hop onto the Paddle Steamer with your bike, you’ll love this ride with its wonderful birdlife and wetland flora.

This takes you up to Lake Mahinapua where you get on your bike and cycle around the Lake.

You can stop off here to do the amazing Tree Top walkway. (allow 2 hours) This structure, built in the rainforest, gets you 30 metres up into the tree canopy for a whole different perspective on this environment. Definitely worth stopping for.

Click Here to see a printable/saveable map of the sector, or click Trip Route to see a google maps version.


Sector 13

Allow 2 hours

Features: Trestle Truss Bridges, wetlands, beaches, Gold Town.

From the Tree Tops Walkway the trail takes you back to the coast and then follows the Historic Ross railway line over some hardwood trestle truss bridges. You'll enjoy beach and wetland views on the way to the Ross Village , a small country town where gold mining continues to the present day. This is the location of the Roddy Nugget, New Zealand’s largest gold nugget find. And it is also famous for its two operating military tanks which the locals get out for Guy Fawkes night!

Click Here to see a printable/saveable map of the sector, or click Trip Route to see a google maps version.

8 Whall St, Greymouth, West Coast, South Island, NZ