West Coast Wilderness Trail – Kumara Tramline to Boardwalk Kapitea Reservoir

Whew – that is quite the title isn’t it.

kapitea reservoir west coast wilderness trail

One of the things I love about the West Coast Wilderness Trail is you can make your bike ride as long or as short as you like.  You have so many options on where to start and where to finish.  You can do it return or organise to have a vehicle at your end spot.

For us our latest ride was – as the title says from the Kumara tram-line to the boardwalk at the Kapitea Reservoir in behind Kumara. Originally we were going to start at Kumara and head out the back but we love the tram-line so much thought we have to include it in our ride and for us it was to be a return ride – in and out.

through the beech forest west coast wilderness trail

The tram-line is just that and following the historic tram-line that use to run from the Taramakau River through to Kumara.  Reasonably straight but gorgeous through regenerated rain forest and then a bit of pine forest before another short section of regenerated rain forest.  The forest is so dense – what’s that saying can’t see the forest for the trees, think I know where it comes from!

cows in the paddock west coast wilderness trail

If there was one disappointment on today’s ride it was the next section – often one of my favourites, not for the scenery well I guess it is sort of – but the cows.  The trail passes the edge of some cow paddocks and unfortunately today there was not a cow to be seen.  I’ve had to include a photo from another ride so you can see what I mean – these are the most styliest of cows, always looks like they’ve just come from the hairdresser – I love them!

kumara straight with moody skies west coast wilderness trail

We’ve got a beautiful day but there are some moody clouds looming over the mountains.  I think we made the right decision starting where we did because if we’d headed right into the back of the Arahura River we might be getting rained on and we don’t need that 🙂

kumara west coast wilderness trail

This ride is such a ride of contrasts with the scenery.  After biking through the little village of Kumara we follow the trail out the back of town to head up to the Kapitea Reservoir.

lambs in the paddock West Coast Wilderness Trail

The trail first passes through a small forestry section with lots of historic tailings from the gold mining days of old and then through farm land with mum and her new-born lambs – so cute.

top of kapitea reservoir west coast wilderness trail

Once at the Reservoir we are afforded some wonderful views out across the farmland where we came from and can see all the way out to the Tasman Sea.

moody skies kapitea reservoir west coast wilderness trail

The reservoir is split into two dams and we follow the edge of the first dam before biking the “pole line” and a short native bush section to then meet the second reservoir – or dam.

west coast wilderness trail moody skies above kapitea reservoir

We are amazed how little water is in the first dam but once we get to the second one we realise that is where all the water is.  We’ve had plenty of rain over the winter so guess they have been using it to generate power – since that’s what it is for eh……

in the forest west coast wilderness trail

history boards kumara west coast wilderness trail

Onwards to the boardwalk but our marker post tells us we’ve only done 19kms – have to go 20kms so then we can say we did a round 40km loop.  Still conscious of those darkening clouds over the mountains – the exact direction we’re heading, we don’t muck around. Back through the short but fun little native bush section and high-tail it back to Kumara.

in the green forest west coast wilderness trail

Our ride doesn’t quite go to plan with a couple of unscheduled stops – Stephen somehow manages to get three punctures – I know  – three!  Despite that the tantrum isn’t too bad and we’re off again lol

back of kumara west coast wilderness trail

This is a great spin out for the legs – perfect training ride if you’re into that sort of thing, nice spin just to enjoy the scenery, great ride to enjoy with good friends – generally just a really nice ride.  For us though we’re got to get a move on – we’ve still got a few kilometres to go and given the time I suspect there are going to be two impatient, hungry dogs waiting for us at home……

Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road north of Greymouth.  They enjoy getting out and about hiking and cycling and exploring the West Coast.


About coastingnz

Jan and Stephen live on the Punakaiki coastline, north of Greymouth on the West Coast, NZ and run Breakers Boutique Accommodation. They both enjoy the outdoors and are passionate about things to see and do on the West Coast and would like to share their experiences with you.
This entry was posted in cycling, Mountain biking New Zealand, Nature, NZ flora and fauna, NZ history, outdoors, photography, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to West Coast Wilderness Trail – Kumara Tramline to Boardwalk Kapitea Reservoir

  1. guestnz says:

    Yet another great ride on the Westcoast. Sorry to hear about Stephen’s 3 x punches… that is most frustrating! Anyway, I guess you guys were equipped for this kind of “situation”.


    • coastingnz says:

      It is a really lovely ride and was surprisingly warm considering the fresh snow over the weekend. Yes the punctures were frustrating and you’d think we’d be well equipped but lesson learnt to ensure have the right gear for the occasion – one spare tube had a hole and another one was for different size tyre – could have been a disaster but thankfully despite all that Stephen had extra extra spares lol


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