Kahurangi Lighthouse Challenge

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Route Overview

General Overview
The Kahurangi Lighthouse is located in a remote location on the West Coast. It can be challenging to reach this lighthouse on a motorbike however the experience will reward you in spades. The surrounding scenery is nothing short of jaw-droppingly spectacular making this route not only a fun riding challenge, but a route that will blow you away with epic views.

There are some critical planning considerations to successfully pull off this trip. Most notably this relates to the four river crossings, the timing of the tides and where to cross each river. If you get it wrong, you will join the long list of people who have drowned 4X4s, quads and motorbikes. If you get it right, you will have an EPIC experience along one of the most beautiful stretches of rugged West Coast shoreline.

This Exploration Route provides the most comprehensive route information available to successfully reach the Kahurangi Lighthouse. This information is based on first-hand experience from multiple trips in this area plus valuable knowledge from seasoned locals.
Start/Finish Point
The start point for this Exploration Route is at Collingwood. This is the last place you can access fuel before heading out towards the West Coast and essentially entering a very remote part of the South Island.

The natural endpoint for this Exploration Route is back at Collingwood after spending a night either camping or staying at a Department of Conservation house available for public use.
Terrain includes
There is a stretch of tarmac as you depart Collingwood however this is unquestionably scenic and pleasant. What follows is an exceptional stretch of gravel road that winds through native bush and rolling farmland offering magic long distance views along the dramatic coastline.

The highlight of the route is the beach section that will impress the finickiest of riding critics. This will come in the form of Grade 2 to Grade 4 as the terrain changes from sand, stones, rock benches and bush tracks.

Recent weather will influence the terrain as you tackle the river crossings meaning they will be anywhere from Grade 3 to Grade 5. However, if you follow this route guide the river crossings will pose no issues and you will successfully progress toward the lighthouse.
Multiple options are supplied to ride this route however you are looking at approximately 170 km from Collingwood to the Kahurangi Lighthouse and back to Collingwood.
Max Fuel Leg
170 km.
Ride Time
The tides will dictate access to this route so you will need to plan your entry and exit times around the tides. This route is best ridden over a two-day period with approximately 5 hours of ride time from Collingwood to the Kahurangi Lighthouse and 5 hours of ride time from Kahurangi Lighthouse back to Collingwood. Add extra time if you like to have a good poke around or stop regularly to take photos.
This route will see you stay at a novel DOC house set in native West Coast bush. Or, you can choose to camp in a number of excellent campsites with ocean views. The information in Leg 1 will comprehensively detail the accommodation options.
Access Permission
No access permission is required for this route however you will be passing through private farming stations on public easements so it is important to keep to the track and leave gates as you find them.
Access Limitations
Access to this route is heavily influenced by river levels and weather. It is imperative to plan correctly for a successful trip. Comprehensive information about weather planning is contained in Leg 1.
Preparation and Safety
THIS IS NOT AN EASY ROUTE! This route is not intended for new or inexperienced riders. It is only suited to riders with very good riding skills who have well setup bikes, a comprehensive toolkit and spares, good general mechanical knowledge to repair bikes on the trail, the ability to undrown bikes, quality camping gear, first aid kit, an emergency beacon or rider tracking device and a sound understanding of the risks that come with entering remote areas. While it is possible for skilled riders to ride this route solo, it is recommended to ride this route in a group for safety.

Legs in this Exploration Route

Leg 1 <span>(8 photos)</span>
Leg 1 (8 photos)
Leg 2 <span>(12 photos)</span>
Leg 2 (12 photos)
Leg 3 <span>(7 photos)</span>
Leg 3 (7 photos)
Leg 4 <span>(10 photos)</span>
Leg 4 (10 photos)
Leg 5 <span>(5 photos)</span>
Leg 5 (5 photos)

Riders that have completed this Exploration Route

No riders have completed this Exploration Route yet.