"THE LOOP" - Great Taste Trail
5 Days, 4 Nights, Grade 1-2 (Easy/Moderate) 160km - This is our most popular multi day tour!
NEW!! A fantastic self-guided tour that allows to you to experience the most recently completed stages of Tasman’s Great Taste Trail. Kiwi Journeys have reversed our most popular tour so you can enjoy even more!! Perfect for groups, couples and anyone who has 5 or more days available. Experience stunning natural landscapes, arts and artisans, wineries and local cuisine. The Great Taste Trail is made up of three very unique sections, Rail, Coastal and Valley Routes. We guarantee the landscape changes every day. WOW!
Let Kiwi Journeys know what you would like included in your tour and we will taylor your itinerary to suit your needs. INCLUDES: Bikes & Equipment, Airport transfers, Transport, Accommodation, Mapua Ferry, New trail sections from Kohatu to Wakefield, and of course the fantastic Spooners Tunnel section. CONTACT US
Day 1 - Nelson City to Mapua - Distance: 32kms
Your adventure starts at our base in Nelson, where on arrival you will be fitted to your bikes and briefed on your tour. From here you will start your cycle ride to Mapua on the Tasman’s Great Taste Trail. We suggest you be at our depot by 9.00am for a 9:30am departure (this is flexible).
Follow the blue Great Taste Trail markers and head south, towards the seaside village of Mapua. Along the way you can visit the popular ‘World of Wearable Art’ and Classic Car Museum. We recommend cycling down the old Railway Reserve cycle path on the way to Richmond. This way you can enjoy craft beer (or a Brewery tour) and fabulous food from Stoke and Eddyline Breweries. Tip: We would also recommend a visit (or tour) to the new Pics Peanut Butter World.
Continuing on the Great Taste Trail you will turn off the coastal path and experience the coastal boardwalks of the Waimea Estuary and fertile farmland there, which is home to a range of internationally significant bird species including the White Heron. Next you will cross the spectacular Waimea Swing Bridge. If you have time on your hands and a palate for exquisite wine, take a left hand turn (instead of a right hand turn to Rabbit Island) where a five minute ride will take you to Seifrieds, the oldest and largest winery in Nelson.
From this point it is ten kilometres to The Mapua Ferry landing. Once you enter Rabbit Island choose to take a swim in the warm sea waters or just enjoy a quiet wander along the white sandy beach.
The trail takes you alongside the main beach of Rabbit Island where you will shortly arrive at the ferry landing. A short trip across the channel on the iconic Mapua Ferry lands you at the Mapua Wharf where you can enjoy the buzzing atmosphere of galleries, studios, restaurants, cafes, shops and the boutique Golden Bear Brewery.
Today’s ride is grade one (easy). You will have plenty of time to relax and take everything in, especially the amazing food, beverages and activities on offer.
Day 2 - Mapua to Kaiteriteri - Distance: 41kms
After breakfast it’s on your bike again for a short ride through Ruby Bay towards Tasman and on to New Zealand’s number 1 café ‘Jester House’. Here you can enjoy the lovely gardens & feed the tame Eels!
On leaving Tasman, a steady climb up to Tasman View Road is all worthwhile, as you take time to enjoy the spectacular 360 degree views of Tasman Bay and the ranges beyond (this section is grade 2-3 and has a climb of 200 meters over 4 km’s). Next you will drop down into the Riverside Community and on to Motueka. Some recommended lunch or coffee stops are the ‘Riverside Café’ at the bottom of Tasman View Road, or ‘Toad Hall’ at the beginning of Motueka. As you make your way around the amazing coastal trail of Motueka, you can enjoy the variety of bird species and gorgeous scenery.
From the outskirts of Motueka, Kaiteriteri is approximately 12km’s away. The short bike ride into Kaiteriteri takes in boardwalks and bridges through the farmland and orchards of Riwaka (NB: two great cafes in Riwaka together with the Hop Federation Brewery!) before entering the ‘Easy Rider’ trail of the Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park. This 4km section through the mountain bike park winds through the stunning native beech forest. A reasonable level of fitness is required to bike this section and caution must be taken by inexperienced riders as there are tight turns and switchbacks.
Once you enter Kaiteriteri you can explore the beautiful golden sands which mark the gateway to the famous Abel Tasman National Park.
Day 3 - Abel Tasman National Park
Today you will experience something magical! Enjoy your day exploring the National Park. Kiwi Journeys are happy to help you with any of your bookings. We recommend taking the Sea Shuttle up at 9.00am to Tonga Quarry where you have a 1.5hr walk along the beach, and through native forest, to Awaroa Lodge, for lunch! This is a fantastic day out, where you can totally relax until the Sea Shuttle takes you back to Kaiterioteri at 2.40pm.
Day 4 - Kaiteriteri – Kohatu – Wakefield Distance: 55kms
Farewell Kaiteriteri, and after exiting the mountain bike park, you will re-trace your steps back to Riwaka enjoying the leisurely ride with many scenic attractions along the way. A coffee stop at Mrs Smith’s Café is always a must.
Winding your way out of Riwaka turn right onto Factory Road, where the trail heads down the West Bank of Motueka River. Enjoy the quiet country roads passing through farmland whilst following the Motueka River. When you arrive at Peninsular Road, turn left off the Trail, and head to the Peninsular Road Bridge. This is a fantastic spot for a well-deserved swim in the pristine Motueka River. After riding this 27km section and depending on the day of the week, a special Winery lunch (and tasting) awaits after a further 1.5km ride down the Motueka Valley Highway. Should this option be unavailable, then Kiwi Journeys will meet you at the bridge at 12.30pm and shuttle you to Kohatu, stopping for lunch at the Kohatu Flat Rock Café. (these options are dependent on opening seasons/opening hours).
After lunch it’s back on your bike departing Kohatu and riding the new section of trail to the entrance of the Spooners Tunnel. At 1,352 metres long, this tunnel is the oldest disused rail tunnel in the Southern Hemisphere.The tunnel is pitch black and is a constant 10deg so take your jumper.After exiting the tunnel, a lovely downhill gradient takes you down to the Belgrove Tavern where you can relax for a drink in the manicured garden amphitheatre before cycling the final section to Wai-iti Domain and the newest part of the Trail, on to the quaint village of Wakefield, where you will stay the night.
Day 5 - Wakefield to Nelson: Distance: 32kms
Your final day of riding is a leisurely day making your way back to Nelson. You will cycle beside quiet country roads towards Brightwater where you can have your first coffee stop for the day at HQ Café.
A slight diversion onto Livingstone Road could have you visit the Kaimira Winery before cycling over the Waimea River via a swing bridge with stunning views of the New Zealand Alps. Continue cycling through the gorgeous vineyards, orchards and farmland into Richmond. Make your way back to the Kiwi Journeys Nelson Depot with the option of visiting the Grape Escape for Lunch, Te Mania/Richmond Plains winery, breweries or the Olde ‘Honest Lawyer Pub’, Whatever direction your taste buds steer you, you are in for a great final day of riding back into Nelson, to complete your Great Taste Trail adventure.
Interested in Kiwi Journeys guiding you and taking you to all the great spots?
We can also package up and include all your meals and activities, all you need to do is arrive. Please contact us for information on these options. CONTACT US
Cycle equipment which includes trail comfort bike, helmet, repair kit, panniers, odometer and trail documentation
Luggage transfers between accommodations (1 bag per person – limit 15kgs per bag)
Mapua Ferry crossing
Luggage storage for excess luggage available if returning to Nelson after cycling
Accommodation (all accommodation is ensuite/private bathroom based on twin/double share, based on availability)
12 months of the year
Optional Add On’s:
Enjoy this tour and take the effort out of the hills on our E-Bikes (electric)!! (extra $54 per day)
Day 1 – Mapua
Day 2/3 – Kaiteriteri
Day 4 – Wakefield
Price: Due to seasonal variations and accommodation availability please contact us for up to date pricing. NB: This package is an example, please specify the inclusions required, on enquiry.
World of Wearable Art & Classic Car Museum
Abel Tasman Discoverer Day and Lunch at Awaroa Lodge
Wine Tastings and Winery Lunch on Day 4
E-bikes are fun, and a popular upgrade!