About The Paparoa Track

This Great Walk crosses the Paparoa Range. It takes you through alpine tops, limestone karst landscapes and thriving rainforests, and provides breath-taking views. From the Paparoa Track, the Pike29 Memorial Track leads to the site of the former Pike River Mine.

About The Paparoa Track

This Great Walk crosses the Paparoa Range. It takes you through alpine tops, limestone karst landscapes and thriving rainforests, and provides breath-taking views. From the Paparoa Track, the Pike29 Memorial Track leads to the site of the former Pike River Mine.

DISTANCE

The track is 55km one way.

START

The Paparoa Great Walk starts at the Smoke-ho car park in Blackball.

FINISH

The Paparoa Great Walk finishes at the Pororari River car park in Punakaiki and the Punakaiki River for bikers.

ACCOMMODATION

Huts on the track must be pre booked through the Doc website.

DURATION

2–3 days walking, 1–2 days mountain biking one way.

DISTANCE

The track is 55km one way.

DURATION

2–3 days walking, 1–2 days mountain biking one way.

ACCOMMODATION

Huts on the track must be pre booked through the Doc website.

START

The Paparoa Great Walk starts at the Smoke-ho car park in Blackball.

FINISH

The Paparoa Great Walk finishes at the Pororari River car park in Punakaiki and the Punakaiki River for bikers.

WHEN TO BOOK

You must pre book your car park, accommodation, transport, gear transfer (with us) and accommodation on the track (with DOC).

About The Walk

The Paparoa Track is New Zealand’s 10th Great Walk. Purpose built, shared-use for walkers and mountain bikers, the track crosses the alpine tops of the Paparoa Range. Through subtropical rainforest, limestone karst landscapes and overlooking the Tasman Sea and Southern Alps, the Paparoa Track is like no other. The Paparoa Track, along with the Pike 29 Memorial Track is built to remember 29 miners who lost their lives in the 2010 Pike River Mine disaster.

The Paparoa Track opens up walking and cycling access through the remote and spectacular natural wilderness of the Paparoa National Park. Challenging in poor weather conditions, the track is well marked and signposted, but some sections may be steep and rough and the track could be muddy.

The Paparoa Track starts 30 minutes from Greymouth, in Blackball, an old mining town on the east of the Paparoa Range. It finishes in the world-famous home of the Pancake Rocks, Punakaiki.

Full itinerary for:

Distance & duration

The  55km track from Blackball to Punakaiki takes 3 days (2 nights) to walk OR 2 days (1 night) to mountain bike.

Huts

Two new huts have been purpose-built for the new track. From the Moonlight Tops Hut there’s spectacular views across the headwaters of the Punakaiki to the Pike Stream escarpment and north to the Paparoa National Park. Next up the Pororari Hut sits amongst ancient podocarp forests. Both huts can be booked on the DOC website.

The Paparoa Track is very busy during the summer season, we recommend booking huts and other services you need as far in advance as you can. 

Season

The Paparoa Track is open all year for hikers and bikers.

Logistics

Let the team at the Punakaiki Beach Camp take care of organising your Great Walk experience. Once you book your hut tickets, next jump on to our simple booking system for accommodation at Punakaiki, transport to the start of the track at Blackball, car parking, and any gear transfers you need. You will get an instant confirmation for all services booked with us, no emails back and forth, quick and easy!

Stories from the track

Frequently asked questions

The Paparoa and Pike29 Memorial Tracks are tough rides and not to be underestimated – to enjoy your ride you need to be fit and have good equipment. Plan to spend 1 night on the track, although fitter and more experienced riders can do it in a day. See Bike It itinerary here.

Weather in the Paparoa National Park is changeable with annual rainfall averaging around 6,000mm (235 inches). Heavy rain can occur with little warning, and unbridged streams are dangerous in flood. Be prepared for rain, heavy fog, snow and high wind, especially on the exposed sections of the track.

– You are not permitted to take a mountain bike into any hut or shelter, or on to hut porches.
– You are not permitted to take a mountain bike off the formed and designated route.
– Electric bikes are not allowed on the track.
– Bikes must give way to walkers.
The Bikers Code can be found on the DOC website on “Quick links” at bottom of this page.

Day one is the longest day at 19.9km, followed by day two 18.7km and the final day a walk of 16.4km.

Huts have bunks, mattresses, heating, gas cooktops, toilets, USB charging and a water supply. A DOC ranger may be present. The huts do not provide food, cooking utensils or showers.

Yes, all guests of the Punakaiki Beach Camp are welcome to book gear transfers on our booking system, so when you are done, your clean clothes and goodies await at your accommodation.

The Paparoa Track is very busy during the summer season, we recommend booking huts and other services you need as far in advance as you can. 

You can park your car in the Blackball township carpark. Punakaiki Beach Camp has the only secure parking in Punakaiki and can be booked through this website after booking accommodation.

If you park in Blackball, you can arrange to have your bags brought to your Punakaiki accommodation.

Punakaiki Beach Camp offers a daily service from Punakaiki to Blackball leaving Punakaiki at 8.00am. We have a purpose-built bike trailer, so there’s plenty of room for bikes and gear.

Buy these on the DOC website here. 

Yes. Most of the track above the bushline does have reception! Don’t forget to #thepaparoatrack and @thepaparoatrack all photos!

From luxury seaside holiday houses to beautiful campsites in the paradise that is the Punakaiki Beach Camp, we have something for you! Accommodation can be booked on the BOOK NOW button, top right of the screen.

We recommend booking hut tickets first, as there are only 20 beds per hut and they will fill up very quickly. Once you have booked your hut tickets, get your car parking, accommodation, track transport and gear transfers with us.  

READY TO START THE PAPAROA TRACK?

Start booking your Paparoa Track expedition with us!

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