This is a 3 day self-guided cycling tour that travels the Nelson Tasman region of the South Island of New Zealand. Family friendly, this tour is divided into manageable chunks so there’s plenty of time for you to stop and enjoy the delights each day.
It’s an easy, flat ride today and a nice soft introduction on the first day of your cycling trip. McCashins Tap Room or the cafe at Pic’s Peanut Butter World are popular venues for a snack before you head off. Once out on the Great Taste Trail Coastal Route it’s a flat ride around the Waimea Estuary before heading towards Rabbit Island beach. You will pass close to Seifried Estate Winery with onsite restaurant Harvest Kitchen en route. Stop for a break, have a swim, or bring a picnic to have on the beach, before catching the ferry from Rabbit Island to the Mapua Wharf. It is casual and summery on the wharf, with kids swimming, busy cafes, another brewery and hot smoked fish and chips to be eaten straight out of the paper. There are lots of neat things in Mapua, including a great gallery (with the best range of craft jewellery in the region) and the old wharf is a great place to relax at the end of the ride.
Cycling distance: 22km
Optional: Consider adding an extra night in Mapua, allowing time enjoy this arty, foodie village. There is plenty to fill a relaxing rest day here. With two nights in Mapua, there is also time for an on-road day ride to the village of Upper Moutere. For those with an interest in art, wine or beer, this day in the Moutere area is a must. Enquire for pricing and availability.
You are cycling from Mapua to Motueka today. There are some hills in this intermediate grade section, but they provide wonderful views of the wider region. From Mapua the Great Taste Trail follows the coast to the sleepy settlement of Ruby Bay before a steepish climb of approximately 1km on sealed trail onto an elevated route above the coast among the apple orchards. It is a beautiful gentle downhill into Tasman village, where there is a village store and cafe, a stylish pottery and an optional detour out to the beachfront on the Kina Peninsula. The route then turns back uphill for a longer climb of approximately 3km to Moutere ridge. The next gravel section (4.5km) climbs and descends as you follow the ridge (elevation approximately 110m). It’s not a long section so take it easy and enjoy the views. Check out the cafe on the site of Riverside Community – the oldest alternative community in NZ. Approaching Motueka township, the trail passes Toad Hall Cafe & Townshend Brewery, a great place to relax with some food and beer under the big oak trees in the garden. The last section of trail into Motueka is all flat and follows the estuary waterfront, past rambling gardens and grassy beach reserves. Look out for the Saltwater Baths and the old wharf.
Cycling distance: 26km
This is a short section and it’s flat – until the end. And it’s “honesty box” country so expect some fresh fruit (in season) including apples, pears, nashi, grapes, feijoas, citrus and melons. Leaving Motueka the trail heads to Riwaka, a cute little village which is home to a great cafe and a craft brewery, so plan to stop there. After Riwaka there is a section that goes right through a kiwifruit orchard before the trail rejoins the coast. The trail then drops and climbs beside the road for a section before ducking into the Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park. This last section of 3.1km is intermediate grade and takes the Easy Rider Trail through the park. The surface is smooth and it is not technical but you might want to take it very gently as there are some tight corners and some riders prefer to walk. As the trail winds down through the bush and pine trees you will soon get the first glimpse of your destination – the stunning golden shores of Kaiteriteri Beach. The beach is the departure point for boats travelling into the Abel Tasman National Park. Your Coastal Classic package includes door-to-door return transport from Kaiteriteri, bringing you and your bikes back to Nelson.
Cycling distance: 17.5km
Optional: Consider adding an extra night in Kaiteriteri at the end of your trip. There is a range of accommodation available and staying the night in Kaiteriteri makes it easy to use the following day for a trip into the Abel Tasman National Park. Wilsons Abel Tasman offer a range of single day walking and kayaking trips in the park. Enquire for pricing and availability.