The West Coast was a successful applicant for funding towards a cycleway – all part of the Governments grand scheme to create a national cycleway. There has been much hype about the cycleway and much has been based on the success of the Otago Central Rail Trail. The Greymouth section from the tip head in Blaketown through to Paroa is all but finished, the track has been formed, the surface is down and bridges across the creeks are in. Stephen and I thought it was about time we checked it out.
A lovely winter’s afternoon but aware that the sun is disappearing all too soon, we load up the bikes and head into Greymouth to begin our journey. We park at Anzac Park – home of the netball courts and bike part of the flood wall to meet the start of the cycle/walkway at the tiphead in Blaketown. It is pretty much a flat track all the way through to Paroa at the other end of Greymouth.
It’s such a lovely day and great to see many of the people of Greymouth out and about and making the most of this latest facility. We meet many locals out walking or families on their bikes. It is an easily accessible trail for all ages and fitness. The entire section from Blaketown to Paroa is following the coastline and you often get good glimpses of the Tasman Sea. Off in the distance there are fantastic views of the Southern Alps including Mt Cook and Mt Tasman.
This section of the cycleway stretches 12kms – not really a long enough ride for us so we’ve decided to incorporate the Bundy out at Camerons also. It means a bit of a road ride along the main highway before turning inland to Camerons and the start of the Bundy trail. The Bundy is all forestry trails – some still used and maintained so easy riding and other parts getting overgrown and turned to single track. The Bundy is a contrast to the cycleway in that it is gradual climbing with a short section of fun downhill, a decent hill climb and then coming back down the single track to the road to return to Greymouth.
We’ve had to wrap up warm today – hard to know exactly the best clothing to wear. It is always quite warm up the Bundy – seems to be sheltered in the forest. The coastal pathway wasn’t too bad, the road sections however are more open to the elements and generally pretty cold. The afternoon starts out lovely but by the time we turn around to head back to Greymouth, the cloud has rolled in and looking rather dark and ominous over the mountains. Makes for a dramatic backdrop. Stephen and I are glad we finally made an effort to do the Greymouth leg of the cycletrail. It isn’t mind-blowing or hard but a nice facility for the locals and for families and a good start or finish to what will eventually be a nice 3-4 day ride along the West Coast.
Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Punakaiki Coastline, overlooking the Tasman Sea. They enjoy getting out and about and exploring the area. Rated #1 on Tripadvisor for B&Bs in the Greymouth area. Check out Breakers Activities page for a selection of things to see and do while visiting the West Coast.