New Zealand Walking Tour:
West Coast Trail
Christchurch to Christchurch
4 days / 3 nights
Plains to Alpine Passes to Subtropical Bush to the Beaches!
The West Coast Trail is a walking adventure created for hikers and nature lovers keen to explore a variety of landscapes and terrain.
Incorporating some of the best short, and mid-length day walks in Arthur’s Pass National Park, and on the West Coast of the South Island, your journey of discovery takes you from East to West Coast over 4 days of walking.
The West Coast Trail is achievable for all levels and is recommended for those wishing to explore the region in depth with a series of day walks. Incorporating walks in two National Parks and over a variety of landscapes from rainforest to alpine forest, coastline and river valleys, the West Coast Trail Walk provides an excellent snapshot of the best of South Island scenery.
Add on some cycling! This tour can be combined with the West Coast Wilderness Cycle Trail for a 7 day walk and cycle experience.
Day 1 Christchurch to Arthurs Pass
Location: Comfortable Motel - Arthurs Pass
Distance: Varied distance walked (max 7km) - 3.5 hours approximately
You depart between 8:00 and 9am from Christchurch and travel along the Great Alpine Highway to Castle Hill where you walk amidst the distinctive limestone rock formations.
From here you travel to Arthurs Pass where we visit the Department of Conservation Visitor Centre and learn all about the history of this fascinating area before you undertake a local walk around the village where the history of the settlement will be experienced.
After the historical village walk you will then walk to Punchbowl Falls. There are a lot of steps on this walk so please be aware that it can be quite taxing on joints.
After completion of the Punchbowl Walk the rest of the afternoon is free time.
Tonight you dine locally after which you retire to your comfortable motel in Arthurs Pass.
Day 2 Arthurs Pass to Greymouth
Location: Lodge / Hotel - Greymouth
Distance: Varied distance walked (max 10km) - 5 hours approximately
After breakfast you will begin your walk along the Bealey Track in Arthur’s Pass where you will be guided up the Bealey River to the base of Mt Rolleston. The group will stop to enjoy the scenery and a picnic lunch together.
The Dobson Nature Walk is the next experience along the trail. You will pass through colourful alpine vegetation, tussock, and wetlands while enjoying the view of mountains and valleys towering in the distance.
You will then explore some of the old goldmining relics on the Goldsborough Track near Kumara. This historic walk takes you through a wonderful array of West Coast ferns, with some of the best remaining examples of hill country rimu and miro. You can try your hand at gold panning.
You are then guided along the Tunnel Loop Walk where you will see an outstanding display of hand dug goldminers’ tunnels.
Tonight, enjoy the best of West Coast hospitality, with a relaxing evening at your accommodation.
Day 3 Greymouth to Punakaiki
Location: Lodge - Punakaiki
Distance: Varied distance (max 10km) - 5 hours approximately
Your day begins by exploring the ‘Jewel of the West Coast’, the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and blowholes. You will walk around these spectacular limestone formations that were created over 30 million years ago. The timing of this walk will coincide with high tide so that you can see the huge water spouts that blast from the crevices in the rocks, a truly spectacular and breathtaking sight.
The Truman Track is the next stop on the trail. You will be guided through lush coastal rainforest and capture fantastic views of the coastline.
You will stay in unique West Coast lodge accommodation amongst the nikau palms, with magnificent coast scenery, and enjoy an entertaining evening meal.
Day 4 Punakaiki to Christchurch
Distance: Varied distance (max 11km) - 3 hours approximately
Your adventure continues this morning, after breakfast, with the Pororari River Walk, where you will experience spectacular West Coast native rainforest and broad limestone canyons, while walking alongside the lovely Pororari River. The track passes through dense sub-tropical forest of coastal broadleaf, tree ferns and towering rata.
Your West Coast Trail walking experience ends at mid-day in Greymouth leaving you with a number of additional options:
Return to Christchurch by:
The TranzAlpine Railway – rated ‘one of the top 6 train rides in the world’ and highly recommended by Tuatara Tours. From your carriage you will enjoy stunning views of farmland, gorges, river valleys, lush beech forests and the Southern Alps. (4 hours) (addtional cost)
Tuatara Tours Coach (4 hours) (no additional cost)
Come biking with us: This tour connects with our West Coast Wilderness Cycle trail departures
Ask our team for details.
If you wish to continue your stay in the West Coast region or explore another area of the South Island there are hire car facilities in nearby Greymouth.
Each night you will stay in comfortable hotel, motel or bed and breakfast accommodation.
Rooms are double (one queen or 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.
The single room supplement for this tour is $545
An experienced guide
Our guides are very experienced, friendly walkers and bikers who love to share their knowledge of New Zealand’s flora and fauna and local history. They all hold current first aid certificates, passenger driving licences and are the very best people to ensure your experience will be one to remember.
You will enjoy great local cuisine; continental breakfasts and hearty packed lunches during the day, and either restaurant meals or wholesome home-cooked fare prepared by your host/hostess 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.
Access and Concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation
NZ Goods and Service Tax (GST)
We would recommend. Great for all ages
This tour met my exercise, tramping needs and with the help of guide John it was pleasurable, informative and fun