New Zealand Cycle Tour: A winter ride on the West Coast Wilderness Trail
It’s midwinter and you’re going biking on the West Coast? You must be crazy, said my friends, writes Kathy Ombler.
It turns out we weren’t. Settled weather, clear skies, fresh snow sparkling on the Alps, no crowds, no sandflies - what wasn’t to like about riding the new West Coast Wilderness Trail in mid-July?
Sure, it was a tad frosty, but we were out there exercising, keeping warm, and at night there were the cosy pubs where we could share the fire with friendly Coasters.
The new cycle trail is fast gaining popularity, says Wilderness Trail Shuttle owner, environment restoration volunteer and absolute trail enthusiast, Chris Steel. “The extractive industries on the Coast have gone. What’s happening now is a big tourism rethink and an increasing amount of that is focused around biking.
“We have groups coming from Auckland, Tauranga, Canterbury and from overseas. Some are doing day trips, based from one place, and some are riding the whole 130kms then turning round and riding back to the start.”
After just an hour on the trail it’s easy to see why it’s already so popular. www.walkingnewzealand.co.nz