Paparoa Track

This purpose built trail is carved through the jagged Paparoa Mountains creating a challenging but extremely fulfilling mountain biking experience. Enjoy modern and comfortable huts and an easy transportation service.

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Activity in brief

2 Days
Start - End:
Smoke-Ho - Punakaiki
Shuttle Bus

Terrain: Advanced with a long climb on the first day. Track can be rough in places with very steep drop-offs

Accommodation: Designated Great Walk Huts

Nearest Town: Punakaiki

Activity Overview

This is one of New Zealand's newest multi-day rides - a purpose-built track designed specifically with bikers in mind.

The spectacular Paparoa National Park on the West Coast of the South Island is an incredibly jagged and knife-edged region that has been shaped by the local weather conditions (which can be harsh). You will climb through lush native rainforest to tussocky alpine tops and limestone karst landscapes. Some of the views from the ridges are exceptional - but don't stray too close to the edge! You return to civilisation along a gorgeous flowing trail along the Pororari River Valley finishing in the village of Punakaiki.

Once completed, the Pike29 Memorial Track will lead from the Paparoa Track to the site of the former Pike River Mine.

The Paparoa Track crosses through remote and spectacular wilderness and is well marked and signposted, but some sections are steep and rough and can be challenging in poor weather. The newly built huts are modern and comfortable, while the transport from Punakaiki to the start of the track at Smoke-Ho makes life easy. 


Personalised Itineraries

Personalise your Paparoa Track Ride:

You can choose to ride the Paparoa Track over one, two or three days. The two day itinerary is the most popular but fit and experienced riders can get through in single day, while those wishing to take it easier will benefit from an extra night on the trail.

Contact us to find out more!

Include the Paparoa Track in your unique Multi-Activity Trip:

You can combine this ride with any other activity on this website to create your own unique itinerary.

When you develop your own tailor-made itinerary with us, it's fully customised with your choice of activities, accommodation and transport around New Zealand - Click here for more information about Multi-Activity Trips or Enquire Now to get started.

OR SIMPLY BOOK this trip now...
Paparoa Track Two Day Ride
  • Hut accommodation on trail included. 
  • All your transportation taken care of with shuttle bus from Punakaiki to the start of the trail at Smoke-Ho.

Day One: Smoke-Ho to Moonlight Tops Hut (20km). The start of the trail passes through mixed podocarp and beech forest and cross a wire suspension bridge over the Smoke-ho Creek. The track then zig-zags up the dividing ridge between Blackball Creek and Roaring Meg catchments. It's relatively easy going to start with but the trail becomes rougher and steeper as you head into subalpine forest leading towards Ces Clark Hut.
From there you follow the ridge of the main Paparoa Range through open alpine vegetation above the Roaring Meg and Moonlight Creek catchments, with views of Aoraki/Mt Cook on a clear day. Moonlight Tops Hut has panoramic views across the Punakaiki River headwaters around to the escarpment, Pike Stream and Paparoa National Park.

Day Two: Moonlight Tops Hut to Punakaiki (35km ). Today the track winds along the top of the escarpment, with steep cliffs and stunning views. About half-way to Pororari Hut, you descend from the escarpment through ancient podocarp forest. The track then follows the ridge above Tindale Creek to Pororari Hut. Keep an eye out for the Lone Hand, a gnarled outcrop of rock on the north side of the Pororari River. The final part of the track has a wonderful flow to it as it descends into the upper Pororari River valley and follows the river back towards the coast. The biking trail forks left over a small hill and on to the main road. It's then a short ride to the small village of Punakaiki.

Pricing: Paparoa Track Two Day Ride

From NZD$135 per person. Includes 1 night hut accommodation on the track and transportation from Punakaiki to the start.

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Activity Planning

When to go

Weather in Paparoa National Park is changeable with annual rainfall averaging around 6,000 mm (235 inches). Heavy rain, snow, ice, fog and strong winds are possible at all times of the year, especially on the exposed sections of the track. You must be well equipped and prepared for all weather conditions and carry warm and waterproof clothing.

What to bring

Bike - Good quality mountain bike with suspension, knobbly tires, helmet, waterproof bags, spares etc.

Light waterproof hiking shoes or biking shoes


Light waterproof jacket

Bidon (Water bottle)


Insect repellant

First-aid kit


Communication device

Sleeping bag

All your food, gas cooker, plates, bowls, utensils etc.




Your accommodation for this walk will be in the excellent Department of Conservation Great Walk Huts along the track, some of which are brand new. They feature flush toilets, gas stoves, fresh water, mattresses, tables, benches and heating.

For more information about backcountry huts in New Zealand please checkout our accommodation guide here.



We can organise your accommodation in Punakaiki, or other parts of the West Coast, for before and after your walk if you wish. Please let us know what sort of accommodation you are looking for when you make your booking for this activity, and we can discuss the options with you.


Shuttles depart Punakaiki at 8am for the start of the track at Smoke-Ho, with a journey time of approximately an hour. You can park your vehicle securely at the shuttle base while you are on the trail.

Route Map
Get in touch

For more information about us or our services contact us on
+ 64 3 390 1584
or email us at [email protected]

Enquire Now