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West Coast Wilderness Trail trip

The West Coast Wildness Trail is a perfect way to spend a bit of quality time among the lowland forests and wetlands of the wonderful West Coast. In June this year we took some North Island friends and a gaggle of electric bikes to ride this trail. The electric bikes were a luxurious way to ride the trail and with panniers for our overnight stuff and good wet weather gear we were ready for anything. 

We started the cycling in Hokitika, staying just one night along the route, at Cowboy Paradise. Cowboy Paradise runs on generator power, so charging up the e bike batteries after “lights-out” wasn’t an option! This track is very well surfaced and the scenery is fantastic. We particularly enjoyed many kms of riding alongside the extensive water races and seeing remnants of dams from the gold mining days. We stopped to chat with a colourful character at a bush camp along the trail, where the water boiling away on the fire made a great cuppa. The “under canvas” set up here included the lap-top which was powered by a solar panel. This isn’t Auckland, after all!

The forests and wetlands behind Lake Mahinapua, with their boardwalks and wonderful wetland plants was another highlight. As always, the experience of travelling through a landscape on a bike is so much more intense than in a car and this is a trail that visitors to the region will cherish. A “must-do” trip!

Jonti Griffin