West Coast Wilderness Trail

Greymouth to Ross, do the whole thing because they need the tourism or they will keep on mining or damning their valleys for power schemes, but really, the very best part, the do it every chance you get part, is the Kaniere to Kumara section. Do it it that direction for the best trip, and some of the best riding you will find anywhere.

 

The Greymouth-Kumara section is flat and only slightly interesting with a lovely bush section near the end, and the Hokitika-Ross section is similarly blessed with another nice bush part through Mahinipoura, but the best part of both of these sections is the pub at then end, especially the Empire at Ross which is as near to a genuine part of the West Coast tradition as any outsider is likely to see. Eat whitebait at both.

 

We started day 2 at Lake Kaniere, but don’t tell anyone about this gem, possibly the most beautiful spot on the planet on a good day. Ride down the tail race to the power station then back for a warm up, then follow the road around to Cowboy Paradise (could do better) and after a bit more uphill it’s all downhill to Kumara again. It’s a well done trail, excellent surface, and it’s been designed for bikes unlike the unfortunate Waikato River Trail with it’s fae-too-tight switchbacks.

 

Ride the whole thiing because you should, but if you’re pressed for time the middle section is the part you will remember forever. About 60k altogether and about 30 – 40% battery left at the end.  I did use level 3 and 4 quite a lot because I was feeling a bit lazy, but you would really only need to on the uphill parts around Cowboy paradise where a lot of people report having pushed the last part.

 

 

 

 

Total distance: 54.74 km
Max elevation: 338 m
Min elevation: 72 m
Total climbing: 1539 m
Total descent: -1620 m
Average speed: 19.41 km/h
Total Time: 04:57:08

 

Kaniere tail race section

Total distance: 15.89 km
Max elevation: 200 m
Min elevation: 57 m
Total climbing: 905 m
Total descent: -951 m
Average speed: 19.10 km/h
Total Time: 01:14:19

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