Plan Your Ride

Kawatiri Coastal Trail | Te Huarahi Takutai o Kawatiri

Adventure With Us

Who is the Kawatiri Coastal Trail for?

The Kawatiri Coastal Trail is ideal for families looking for a manageable adventure, retired people, school groups, social clubs, to celebrate special occasions, and eventually overseas visitors, looking to experience the best of the West Coast.

What level of fitness do I need?

The Grade 2 (Easy) Trail is suitable for all ages, fitness levels and cycling abilities. The Trail is predominantly wide, flat and smooth, with a gentle gradient, making it suitable for everything from children’s bikes and uprights, to touring bikes, mountain bikes and e-bikes.

Where do I start my ride?

The Kawatiri Coastal Trail will open in stages, with the Trail due for completion mid 2023. With multiple access points between Westport and Charleston, the 50 km Trail may be ridden in either direction, enjoyed as manageable day Sections, or as a multi-day adventure.

Which Sections are Open?

The Pūwaha, Omau and Waitakere Sections are fully Open. The Kawau and Tauranga Sections are partially Open. More information can be found on the Trail Section Pages.

How long is the Trail?

Once built, the Kawatiri Coastal Trail will comprise of 9 Sections, each varying in length from 5 km to 10 km. For a leisurely tour, riders can comfortably traverse three Sections in one day. Remember even short rides with a handful of stops can quickly fill up a day. If you’re on a tight schedule or favour fast and furious, with your head down and pedals cranking just tick the Trail off in one fell swoop.

Ride independently or book a supported tour

With good preparation, research and planning, a self-guided ride offers the freedom and independence to ride at your own pace. In future, there will be supported tours available. These will have the advantage of providing planning, support, transport, and local knowledge of the Trail and wider region.

Support Services

As more of the Trail opens, Official Partners will be listed on the website to help visitors plan their adventure. Bike hire, luggage transfers, self-guided tours, fully supported tours, shuttle options, accommodation, and eateries will make logistics simple to incorporate an overnight stop or two. In the interim visitors should utilise services offered by the Westport i-SITE.

Westport Trail Head

Charleston Trail Head


Driving Times & Distances

The Kawatiri Coastal Trail is located on the West Coast of the South Island, and within easy reach of Greymouth, Nelson, Blenheim, Picton and Christchurch. Direct flights to Westport are available from Wellington. The approximate flying time is 50 minutes. Officially starting from Westport in the North, riders enjoy diverse landscapes between Carters Beach, Cape Foulwind, Tauranga Bay, Ōkari, Tōtara and Charleston.


95 km | 1 hour, 25 minutes


97 km | 1 hour, 30 minutes


230 km | 3 hours, 20 minutes


260 km | 4 hours, 15 minutes


288 km | 4 hours, 40 minutes


TO WESTPORT (via Lewis Pass)
336 km | 4 hours

Please note the above times are approximate and depend on the vehicle and conditions. Multiple access points, bike hire, luggage transfers and shuttle options will eventually make logistics simple to incorporate an overnight stop or two. As a Grade 2 family friendly cycle trail it is suitable for most ages and abilities, and ultimately will offer the convenience of accommodation and eateries along the way.

Adventure Further

This magical ride can easily be combined with other activities, local rides and Great Rides for those looking to linger longer. With the Kawatiri River Trails, Deniston Plateau Trails, West Coast Wilderness Trail, Old Ghost Road, Heaphy Track, Paparoa Track, Kirwans Track, Waitahu Valley Trail and Big River, visitors are spoilt by all the Buller Region has to offer.

Visitors travelling from Picton or Nelson can enjoy the Dun Mountain Trail and Tasman’s Great Taste Trail, and additional trails in and around Blenheim and the Marlborough Sounds, including the Queen Charlotte Track. For more experienced riders, there is the St James Cycle Trail near Hanmer Springs.

Visitors to the Top of the South can also look forward to the Whale Trail, a 200 km trail between Picton and Kaikōura. The first 32 km section between Picton and Blenheim is underway and due for completion mid 2022.