West Coast Wilderness Trail 
Mahinapua Creek Boardwalk & Riders at Paroa Bush. Photo source: Jason Blair / Katabatic

 

Travellers from Auckland are proving to be the most prolific visitors to the West Coast Wilderness Trail - one of the leading rides in the Nga Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails Great Rides network.

The trail is one of the many successful ventures supported by DWC, which has provided over $3 million towards its construction. Statistics collected by the West Coast Wilderness Trail Trust show rider numbers are already approaching 10,000 with 94% of these people visiting the West Coast solely because of the trail. Data shows that the majority of the riders are new visitors, aged over 50 who stay in the region on average 3 to 4 nights spending around $200 each per day.

The trail has been a major catalyst for the revival of Kumara township, with the restoration of the 1876 award winning Theatre Royal Hotel, and historic cottages and buildings that have been converted into a range of both quality and backpacker accommodation. Four additional business ventures, including shuttle services, scenic waterway attractions, accommodation at Ross and a depot providing booking services and 70 hire bikes, have been developed with investment of over $7 million.

This growth has led to the creation of over 30 direct full and part-time jobs in management, hospitality and services. The Wilderness Trail is currently being featured by Tourism New Zealand as one of just three cycle trails in their international marketing campaigns this year. The promising growth of the trail’s success and popularity is a positive indicator, with growth in rider numbers, business opportunities and employment expected to continue, along with the ongoing benefits that this brings to the West Coast economy.

flood wall  Blaketown Breakwater
Greymouth Floodwall. Photo source: Nimmo Photography Blaketown Breakwater. Photo source: Nimmo Photography