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GO NZ: Cycling Hokitika’s West Coast Wilderness trail, plus wet weather activities

GO NZ: Cycling Hokitika's West Coast Wilderness trail, plus wet weather activities

Thomas Bywater mines for tourist treasure on the West Coast My only prior experience of Hokitika was through reading The Luminaries. Well, a couple of…

Wednesday, Jul 21

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Thomas Bywater mines for tourist treasure on the West Coast My only prior experience of Hokitika was through reading The Luminaries. Well, a couple of hundred pages of it, anyway. I’ve no shame in admitting it is still on the to-read pile. The story about West Coast miners quickly found a reputation with some readers – myself included – as being as dense and impenetrable as the Hokitika bush.

Much like Eleanor Catton’s Man Booker winning-novel, the West Coast has a reputation that is unavoidable, but few Kiwi travellers find the time to persevere and push through to the other side. The Hokitika Gorges as depicted in Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries… I think. Photo / Thomas Bywater. You need time. A long weekend is barely enough to scratch the surface. But on two wheels you can make some headway. Easy rider: Coasting on an E-bike

The West Coast Wilderness Trail is a 133km cycling route from Greymouth to Ross.

Since its completion almost five years ago, it has been one of the biggest revolutions in opening up the scenery and the experiences along the Podocarp rainforest belt. And more recently a secret weapon has been opening up the trail to more first-time cyclists: the e-bike.

Donna Beard, owner of the West Coast Cycling & Tours, has banned the term. Where to next?

"E-bikes make it sound like you’re cheating," she says. "We prefer the term ‘Pedal assist’." Donna Beard, right, with daughter Alex of West Coast Cycle & Tours. Photo / Thomas […]

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