3 Options to Help Deal with the Delayed Opening of the Full Paparoa Track

DOC’s announcement to delay the full opening of the Paparoa Track until the 1st of March 2020, has been devastating for the construction teams and the locals who are waiting to showcase their towns and landscapes.  There’s no doubt its devastating for you as well with some of you having prepaid travel that can’t be unwound.  However, it’s not all doom and gloom – Just to help out, here are a few options for you to consider…

For Bikers

Option #1

Stay with your plan to ride the track, albeit you can’t go all the way through end to end.  Go to Blackball or Punakaiki and ride into your hut – be it Ces Clark, Moonlight or Pororari Hut.  The ride is stunning and once you gain the tops, the views both directions are awesome.  Spend the night and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow hut occupants.  The following day turn around and ride back down the track to the Smoke-ho carpark and then down the new road to Blackball.  Its a great place to overnight, so check out the options there.

Pororari-Hut-Paparoa-Track

Image supplied by the Department of Conversation, Credit: Jason Blair

West Coast Wilderness Trail

Option #2

Got some time left?  How about riding some or all of the nearby West Coast Wilderness Trail.  Starting from Greymouth, its approx 100kms down the coast and then up and over the Kawaka Pass and down to Cowboy Paradise.  From here its out to Lake Kaniere and then along the beautiful single track of the Kaniere water race, eventually getting you out to Hokitika.  A 100km ride which was rated by riders of the Tour of Aotearoa as their top pick of all the trails they had ridden.

Option #3

Heading back to Christchurch or perhaps Nelson?  Stop in at Lyall up the Buller river and crank up day one of The Old Ghost Road to Lyall Hut.  A beautiful benched trail which rises steadily to finally get to the hut, then turn around and enjoy the sheer delight of the down hill.  If you are heading to Christchurch, call into Broken River access road and explore the Craigiburn Trails. Perhaps ride the Dracophyllum and Hogs Back tracks with an exit at Castle Hill Village. If you have a dog, the great thing about the Craigiburn Trails is they are dog friendly!
Helicopter-Hill-Craigieburn

For Hikers

Pororari Hut Paparoa Track

Image supplied by the Department of Conversation, Credit: Jason Blair

Option #1

Stay with your plan to walk the track, albeit you can’t go all the way through end to end.  Go to Blackball or Punakaiki and hike into your hut – be it Ces Clark, Moonlight or Pororari.  The walk is stunning and once you gain the tops, the views both directions are awesome.  Spend the night and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow hut occupants.  The following day turn around and walk back down the track to the Smoke-ho carpark and catch a shuttle down the new road to Blackball.  Its a great place to overnight, so check out the options there.
Alternatively, if you are staying in the Ces Clark or Moonlight Huts, take the Croesus Track on day two and descend down into Barrytown on the West Coast. You can then catch our shuttle back from Barrytown back to Blackball to your vehicle.

Option #2

Head up to the Fox River north of Punakaiki and from here walk the Inland Pack Track – 3-4 hours into The Ballroom – a huge limestone overhang with room to spread out and away from any rain that may be out there.  There is a toilet in place.  Next day cross the Fox River and pick up the track heading south to Bullock Creek for approximately 4hrs.  The exit can be down the road or as an alternative, continue on to join the Pororari River track that will get you back to Punakaiki.
Ballroom-Overhang-Inland-Pack-Track

Image supplied by the Department of Conversation

Mahinapua-West-Coast-Wilderness-Trail

Option #3

Put aside the pack and boots and come and ride one of the many beautiful sections of the West Coast Wilderness Trail.  The ride is stunning on a great track with beautiful rainforest tracks.  Depending upon your fitness the ride can be as short or long as you want.  Talk to us about the day rides and if you need it, we can sort you out with a bike and shuttle.