Day 35 | Reefton to Greymouth

It’s all downhill from here

Date: 27 Feb 2024

We had a grey day for the long Grey valley. It was 94 km and at the end, the bike still had 1/3 of the battery left, but I didn’t and was very glad to arrive at the Kiwi Camp a few km south of Greymouth.

It was a fairly constant downhill run with hardly any wind and we broke the ride with coffee in Ikamatua and lunch and a beer at (Formerly the) Blackball Hilton.

The TA route between Reefton and Ikamatua takes one to two days via Big River and Waiuta, but having read reports of diabolical mud and bike- portaging over slips, we decided it was not very interesting (i.e. too hard). Instead, we took what TA somewhat disparagingly labels ‘the cycle-tourists’ route’ – the main road – which took an hour and a half.

At Ikamatua we crossed to the quieter north bank road, and warmed up as the cloud lifted a bit. We paused at the memorials to the Pike River and Brunner mining disasters, which made us wonder how the coal-mining industry has managed to survive successive nanny-state governments. Moonlight has an interesting history too but, lacking in tragedy, is a bit overlooked.

The last 2 km on SH6 through the gorge before Greymouth is particularly narrow and had too many young locals in utes demonstrating their prowess in close, fast overtaking.

The supermarket is just over the bridge, so we stocked up, crossed the road, and took the Wilderness Trail south to the camp, thereby avoiding most of Greymouth.

A fantastic West Coast sunset ended this perfect day, and we were lulled to sleep by the sound of the nearby surf.

Supplies: Ikamatua, Blackball, Greymouth

Accommodation: Greymouth Kiwi Holiday Park
These videos are best viewed on a computer screen. Turning your phone sideways helps.

Total distance: 93.13 km
Max elevation: 269 m
Min elevation: -1 m
Total climbing: 788 m
Total descent: -977 m
Total time: 08:19:18
Download file: day35.gpx

Battery use: 64% | 400Wh


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