Last Updated: 1st Jul 2024

Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Kumara to Greymouth via West Coast Wilderness Trail

Greymouth, West Coast

Submitted by Catriona McWhirter

Last Updated: 1st Jul 2024

Intermediate

Save Trail Save

I've done it Done

Open

Grunt Factor: 22 ?

Gnarl Factor: 9 ?

28.7km

40m

120m

84m

  

  

  

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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Point to Point (one way)

Totally/mostly flat

Dog Friendly

Native bush

Coastal

Riverside

Open farmlands

Other

Run Makeup

3%
5%
92%

Sealed Road

Gravel Road

Easy Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +0.5%

Average Downhill Gradient: -1.3%

Trailhead

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Estimated Times to Run

3:45

Slow

2:30

Moderate

2

Fast

The Kumara to Greymouth section of the West Coast Wilderness trail can be run either as an easy 29km off-road run on its own or as the final leg of the entire 133km Wilderness Trail (first leg if run in reverse). As a low level route which is never far from civilisation, it can be a good option for foul weather or winter days.

Assuming one starts from Kumara, turn left out of the carpark and then almost immediately left again onto Greenstone Road, which has an unmissable bright orange West Coast Wilderness Trail sign at the junction. Less than 1km down this road, another orange sign indicates another left turn onto a gravel road - continue to follow the orange markers along this and soon the road narrows slightly to well maintained, wide gravel singletrack.

This trail initially follows the Taramakau River through bush for a few kilometres, before a less enjoyable section of similar length with farmland to your right and the main road to your left. At least it's short and downhill though, so you will find yourself back in the bush before you know it; this time following a historic tramline through the forest for another few km. The well maintained trail and very slight downhill gradient make for easy and enjoyable running for several kms until you meet SH6 just before the Taramakau Bridge.

A thankfully brief section on a wide pavement alonside SH6 leads down to the Taramakau crossing where the new and old bridges cross the river in parallel. Information panels provide a good summary of the fascinating history of the Taramakau Crossing. Enjoy the views as you cross the new bridge! After the bridge, it's back to running on gravel trail.

The first 1km after the bridge is away from the roadside, but then you follow it again for 4km until you reach the small settlement of Gladstone, where is thin veneer of bush provides a pleasant barrier between the trail and SH6 for 2km until Paroa. The final 11km leg from the Paroa Hotel to the end of the trail on Mawhera Quay runs alongisde the beach with frequent views of the wild Tasman Sea at each gap in the flax bushes. Running this section as the sun sets is a delight.

Upon reaching Blaketown breakwater, the trail then follows the Mawhera floodwall to the end of the trail... which is conveniently just across the road from Speight's Alehouse! Fear not - if you run the trail in reverse you also finish a stone's throw from a pub - the wonderful Theatre Royal Hotel in Kumara!

Historic gold-mining town of Kumara, old and new Taramakau bridges, West Coast beach and coastal views, stunning views of the distant Alps on a clear day, fabulous sunsets if you do an evening run, industrial heritage in Greymouth, lots of interesting information panels along the trail.

If you know of any public toilets near the trail start or on the route, please login and then let us know so we can update this section.

There is ample parking available in aforementioned car park in Kumara. It is on the main road and I am not aware of any break ins or thefts from there. If starting from Greymouth, there are time limits on parking near the start so you would have to walk/run 1-2km to the start or get someone to drop you off. Trail shuttles are also available - see the West Coast Wilderness Trail website for up to date links to transport providers.

24 km

20 minutes

Yes

No

Easy.

Generally good.

Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, Cellphone

Paroa Hotel, 4 Jay's take-away and dairy

Low level, easy navigation and well maintained gravel trail mean this is runnable in virtually all seasons/conditions

Speight's Alehouse
130 Mawhera Quay, Greymouth
1) It's literally just across the road from the end of the trail. 2) Class 1 historic building. 3) Reasonable beer and food - certainly not the best, but hits the spot after a run and fairly consistent in terms of quality.

Theatre Royal Hotel, Kumara
81 Seddon Street, Kumara
https://www.theatreroyalhotel.co.nz/
Ok so it's only at the end of the trail if run in reverse, but a great place so really deserves a mention. Historic coaching inn, lovely ambience, friendly staff, great food, decent range of drinks, open fire in winter

Monteith's Brewery
60 Herbert Street, Greymouth
https://www.monteiths.co.nz/brewery/the-brewery
Good atmosphere, good beers, decent food - mostly sharing platter style, also run brewery tours

Trail Legend

David Morgan

David Morgan

has completed Kumara to Greymouth via West Coast Wilderness Trail once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Nice easy all-weather running, but probably one of the less exciting bits of the Wilderness Trail, with a fair bit close to the road, and lots of long straights. Still a good easily accessible option for a cruisy flat run though.

Katie Smith

January 28, 2020

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