Best of the West Cycle Trail - Tuatara Tours

New Zealand Cycle Trail:

Best of the West Cycle Trail

NEW TOUR FOR THIS SEASON! Expect things to be different on the West Coast — fresh and more alive, untouched, bigger and more impressive than you imagined


Christchurch to Christchurch


6 days / 5 nights



Dates available now for 2025

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  • Start Date Status
  • Mon 13 Jan 2025
  • Mon 03 Feb 2025
  • Mon 17 Feb 2025Please enquire
  • Mon 24 Feb 2025FULL
  • Mon 10 Mar 2025
  • Mon 17 Mar 2025
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Best of the West Cycle Trail

From majestic mountains, splendid lakes, turquoise gorges, soaring forests and lush wetland havens to spectacular coastal landforms.

There’s history, heritage, vibrant communities and so much more to be discovered on the West Coast.

This extraordinary West Coast adventure The Best of the West Cycle Trail – journeys between the mountains to the east and the coastline to the west, with views that will stun you.

Tour Itinerary


Day 1 Christchurch to Westport

Distance: varied 20km approximately

Accommodation: Westport Hotel / Motel stay

We leave from Christchurch and drive to Westport via the Lewis Pass stopping at Springs Junction and Reefton.

We will go for a ride of approximately 20km on the way to Westport – We will decide the best option for that day depending on the weather.

Tonight you stay and dine in Westport

Day 2 Westport - Kawatiri Coastal Trail - Hokitika

Distance: 35km approximately

Accommodation: Hokitika Hotel / Motel stay

The Kawatiri Coastal Trail so far is 28km one way. This may change by the time you go on the tour

  • Westport – Carters Beach    5.5 km   
  • Carters Beach – Cape Foulwind, 7 km
  • Cape Foulwind – Tauranga Bay     3.5 km
  • Tauranga Bay – Ōkari Lagoon  5 km    
  • Ōkari Lagoon – Virgin Flat Road, 7 km

We drive  to Beach Road where you ride 5km to the end of the trail in Charleston

On finishing the Kawatiri Trail you drive to Hokitika stopping in Punakaiki and Greymouth before continuing on to Hokitika where you stay overnight.

Day 3 Hokitika to Kumara

Distance: 72km approximately

Accommodation: Kumara Hotel stay

Today you will ride a full day on the West Coast Wilderness Cycle Trail from Hokitika to Kumara.

This section of the route (and indeed the trail itself) is one of New Zealand’s most popular cycle rides, offering stunning scenery and fascinating local history. You will pass through some of the best stands of native forest left in New Zealand on your journey today.

Milltown overlooks the Arahura Valley, an area once rich in gold and still known as the source of the highly prized pounamu (greenstone).

You will pass water raceways, rich dairy farmland and the tranquil Lake Kaniere, described by some as” the most beautiful lake in New Zealand”. Formed by glacial erosion in the last ice age, Lake Kaniere itself is only 8 km long and 2 km wide but can be as deep as 195 metres in places and is surrounded by verdant native bush, making it a popular spot for campers and holiday makers in the summer. You bike through a section of towering ancient rimu forest and tree ferns.

Tonight your stay is in Kumara at the famous Theatre Royal Hotel.

Day 4 Kumara to Franz Josef Glacier

Distance: 46km

Accommodation: Franz Josef Glacier Motel stay

We drive to Ross where we start our ride for the day.

From Ross, we ride for  about 23km on a well formed 4wd track. Plenty of small hills and not too demanding.

The bush scenery and wild nature is fantastic.  As you progress into the Mikonui Valley the mountains rise to greet you.  You really feel as though you’re going somewhere.

If you look carefully as you ride, you’ll also see glimpses of 120 years-old gold-workings. Then, if you love speed, you’ll crank up a few knots as you go down the hills. It’s great for electric bikes. You bike high above the pretty Totara Gorge.  We will stop at the “Black Hut for lunch  – even go for a swim in the adjacent Totara River.

We will allow at least 5 hours for a return journey – but time really depends on your fitness, speed and ability.

On completing the ride we  drive to Franz Josef where we overnight.

Day 5 Franz Josef Glacier - Okarito - Fox Glacier

Distance: 20km

Accommodation: Fox Glacier Motel stay

This morning we drive to Okarito the home of Kerri Hulme, author of the Bone People, and we enjoy the quiet tranquility of the area.

We then drive back to Franz Josef and ride the Te Ara a Waiau cycleway through the rainforest which provides off-road access to the Franz Josef glacier walk car park.  8.7km return via same track.    

From Franz Josef township we make a short drive south to Fox Glacier. Fox township is a similar size to Franz Josef. It also has a lovely rainforest cycleway, Te Weheka is 8.4km return, providing a link to its glacier walk car park.

Tonight we stay in  Fox Glacier.

Day 6 Fox Glacier - Lake Matheson - Gillespies Beach - Christchurch

Location: Fox Glacier to Christchurch

Distance: 21km one way

This morning we ride to Lake Matheson and walk around the lake before continuing on the bikes for a 21 km ride to Gillespies Beach.

Gillespies Beach is a secluded, yet beautiful beach that offers a glimpse into its gold mining past (as well as the chance of the odd seal encounter). It’s a great way to spend half a day; you’re guaranteed to come back feeling rejuvenated.

When finished at Gillespies Beach we return you to  Christchurch via Arthurs Pass.

What’s Included


Each night you will stay in comfortable hotel, motel, or bed and breakfast accommodation.

Rooms are double (one queen /king bed) or twin ( 2 separate beds)

If you have a preference for a twin room, please let us know when you make your booking.

All rooms have their own ensuite bathroom.

If you are a single traveller, you can nominate to share a room with another single of the same gender or pay an additional single supplement to secure a private room for the duration of the tour.

An experienced guide

An experienced and fully qualified guide


You will enjoy great local cuisine; continental breakfasts and hearty packed lunches during the day,  and restaurant meals in the evenings. If you have any dietary issues or food allergies, we are happy to cater for these, please advise the office of details when you make your booking. Alcohol is not included in the tour cost, but is available for purchase most nights.

Safety and Risk Management

To ensure maximum safety for all, our guides are certified first aiders and fully qualified drivers. Tuatara Tours operate under a Safety and Risk Management Plan which is regularly audited and approved by a qualified and independent auditor.

Luggage & Transfers

Tuatara Tours transports all your luggage for the duration of the tour.

Tour Kit Bag Exclusive to Tuatara Tours

To ensure you get the very best out of your journey with the least of fuss, we provide you with a bag of useful goodies. This will be given to you at the start of your tour.


All transport – support vehicle for the duration of the tour

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