A premium Itinerary on The Great Taste Trail
Day 1 – Cycle from central Nelson to Mapua via Rabbit Island. If day 1 is a Saturday, browse the Nelson market before you start your bike ride. Along the way cafes, a brewery and a winery are close to the trail as well as other possible places to explore including the and Nelson Collectable Car Museum.Before catching the little the ferry to Mapua, stop off by the long sandy beach of Rabbit Island and go for a swim. When you arrive at Mapua wharf you will instantly see many of the eateries and shops that make this a popular destination with locals and visitors alike. Your accommodation will be a short distance from here.
35kms Grade 1. Mostly flat
Stay at Mapua
Optional extra day – Make the most of the the beautiful village of Mapua and stay an extra night before moving on. Use the extra day to cycle to and from your accommodation in Mapua and explore the hidden gems of the Moutere. If you want to sample some of the best flavours of the region, then this is a ‘must do’. A 35 km circuit offers unique coffee stops, fine food, boutique award-wining wineries(including the most scenic winery in the Nelson region), craft beers ( The Moutere Inn, NZ’s oldest pub) and studios of acclaimed artists.
This ride is not on the trail and uses back roads and local cycle/walk paths.
Stay at Mapua
Day 2 –Cycle from Mapua to Kaiteriteri. This is one of the most popular and diverse segments of the trail. Countryside and coastal sections get you to places that only cyclists will go. Several craft breweries, great coffee, and food options along the way. Our notes and maps will also help you find some local gems that you wouldn’t find directly on the trail.
43kms. Grade 2 with two short Grade 3 sections. A mix of flat and short hills.
Stay at Kaiteriteri
Optional extra day – Explore Abel Tasman National Park or relax and enjoy a swim off one of the local beaches or leisurely walks around the local tracks of Kaiteriteri. A 20km round trip following the coastal road (narrow in places but great views along the way) to Marahau is also an option if you don’t want a day off the bike. Stay at Kaiteriteri
Day 3 – Cycle from Kaiteriteri to Stanley Brook in the Motueka Valley. Stunning scenery, different to all the other days. Follow the majestic Motueka river for most of the way with Kahurangi National Park as the background scenery. Due to the rural nature of this ride, only a couple of coffee stops today! There are also access points to the river for safe swimming or picnic locations.There is also the option to ride some extra kms and explore the Stanley Brook area on gravel roads nearby, or just arrive at the tranquil retreat and have a leisurely soak in the hot tub or go for a swim in the river. Dinner is also included so you don’t have to make any plans, it’s all taken care of.
45kms. Grade 2& 3. Grade 3 on a quiet little road following the river for approximately 33kms, which is also quite flat.
Stay at Stanley Brook, Motueka Valley
Day 4 – Vehicle transfer to the start of the ride with your choice of start points, Tapawera, Kohatu or Spooners Tunnel. Cycle to Nelson city centre ( or finish at Nelson airport if you want to catch a flight on the same day as your last bike ride).Cycle through Spooners tunnel then stop off along the way at the historical villages of Wakefield and Brightwater. At Richmond you can follow the railway reserve route for part of the return leg to Nelson.
53-70km (mostly flat or downhill!)
Grade 3 Tapawera to Kohatu ( trail and road)
Grades 1 & 2 Kohatu to Nelson
Have you got more time? Would you like to explore more?
We can offer other days of cycling in the quiet countryside or include a day or more in Abel Tasman National Park. Walking, kayaking or boat trips can be arranged to get you off the beaten path.
Why not try our popular ‘Hub & Spoke’ approach to a cycle tour?
If you like the idea of a cycle tour which means you unpack once and enjoy a ‘home’ base on your multi-day adventure, then this is the style of cycle tour for you. Mapua village has become a very popular hub to stay at for the duration of the tour. Customers have enjoyed it so much, some have returned for subsequent trips. Each day you can be transferred to the start of you ride and cycle back to your door, or collected at the end of the ride and returned back to Mapua. It also provides lots of options to do day rides ( trail, gravel and back roads) from your door. The village atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming. With lots of good eateries a stroll from your base,the big decision is where to dine each evening! Your hub could be a self-catered house or apartment, B&B or an all inclusive luxury lodge.