This is a 5 day self-guided cycling tour that travels the Nelson Tasman region of the South Island of New Zealand.
After your shuttle pickup on day one, from Nelson city to The Gentle Cycling Company in Stoke, you will meet the crew and finalise your itinerary before bike fittings and departure. The ride today has no hills, so you will have ample time to visit a craft brewery, enjoy estuary views, stop for a swim and take a ferry built for bikes. The short ferry ride links the trail at Rabbit Island to the Mapua Wharf. Take time to explore the pretty coastal village of Mapua – it is casual and summery here, with kids swimming, busy cafes, a brewery, and hot smoked fish and chips best eaten straight out of the paper. And pick up a patisserie or two in the village too, they are pretty hard to resist. Your B & B accommodation is near Mapua, we recommend one of the cafes on the wharf for dinner.
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.
Enjoy a relaxed breakfast at your B & B before departure. There are some rolling hills and spectacular views along the trail today (max elevation 100 m) and two cafes with rambling gardens. From Mapua the Great Taste Trail follows the coast to the sleepy settlement of Ruby Bay before ducking up onto an elevated route above the coast among the apple orchards. It is a beautiful gentle downhill into Tasman, home to a cafe, a stylish pottery and an optional detour out to the beachfront on the Kina Peninsula. The route then turns back uphill to follow a rolling trail along a ridge and down into Lower Moutere. 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 follows the estuary waterfront, past rambling gardens and grassy beach reserves. Look out for the Saltwater Baths and the old wharf. Your accommodation is at a centrally located motel, with restaurants nearby.
Cycling distance: 26km
Your guide is available this morning to provide any support you need for the last leg of the ride through to Kaiteriteri. This section of the trail travels through the fruit-growing area of Motueka with trail-side stalls providing a range of fruit to sample. As you rejoin the coast, the trail climbs and drops beside the road for a section before ducking into the Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park. This last section of 3.1 km, takes the Easy Rider Trail through the bike park. The surface here is smooth and it is not technical, but some riders might want to take it very gently as there are some tight corners. The trail winds down through the bush and pine trees and you will soon get your first glimpse of your destination – the stunning golden shores of Kaiteriteri Beach.
At mid-day your guide will introduce you to your Wilsons Abel Tasman guide for your transfer into the park. Cruise from Kaiteriteri to Totaranui, then travel to Awaroa for the night. Meadowbank Homestead, the Wilson’s lodge in Awaroa, is a faithful recreation of their original Victorian homestead.
Cycling distance: 17.5km
Today you will walk (or cruise) to the Torrent Bay lodge, once the site of the Wilson’s holiday home. Your guides, lodge and boat hosts will help you plan, so you choose how active you want to be. Walk the well-formed track, enjoying the lush native forest and golden-sand beaches, or take a boat between the two beachfront lodges.