Anyone who knows me knows that I am geographically challenged, that I spend a good part of my time daydreaming and misplace my belongings… a lot! Kelsey is… Kelsey! She cut a finger and got stitches before the trip, broke her hand mountain biking in Rotorua, is allergic to any bug bites (lots of bugs in NZ)… we make an awesome duo! You should have seen us trying to figure out how to get back to our campground in Nelson, navigating the roundabouts, the under and overpasses. We got king of lost trying to stay on gravel roads off the great Taste Trail and ended up in a gravel pit. Now, we are staying on marked routes and official trails, no more exploring, no more adventures. 😦
The West Coast Wilderness Trail was great, we took it out and back in 2 days. I was worried it would be a boring ride (like a rail trail) but it was quite nice. We road along the sea, farm fields, on suspension bridges, over gorges, through little rivers, forest, old mining areas, with varied terrain and good elevation gain. The trail is very well marked and maintained, no getting off course and almost no highway riding. 🙂
Not much for food along the way, since most of the trail is in the middle of nowhere. Greymouth and Hokitika are big enough and have good food, coffee shops and accommodations. 20km from Greymouth is a really good restaurant, where I got to try a local specialty the whitebait sandwich. Very good food, excellent latte and a funny white bread sandwich at the Theatre Royal hotel! In Hokitika we had an awesome meal at the ocean front restaurant, but the accommodation we chose was quite awful!
Taking the train to Christchurch tomorrow, should be a very scenic ride!
Anne-Marie is the owner of Liv Vancouver, the first female focused bicycle boutique of its kind in Canada. An avid cyclist & bike packer, she has ridden down the coast from Vancouver to San Francisco twice, among other exciting two-wheeled expeditions. She is now on a bicycle tour through New Zealand with her daughter Frederique & colleague Kelsey. Visit Anne-Marie’s personal blog here.