Tasman's Great Taste Trail

from 4 Days

Planning on riding the Great Taste Trail? Contact us for help in planning your itinerary and booking your trip. 

A fantastic combination of iconic attractions like the Abel Tasman National Park, the nearby Golden Bay region, year-round mild temperatures, award winning wineries, breweries and cafes and strengths in the arts, the Nelson-Tasman region is a wonderful place for any person to explore - and it's even better on a bike. Tasman's Great Taste Trail will appeal to a variety of cyclists; everyone from cross country riders taking on the whole loop, to casual day trippers around the coast.

This fantastic 4 day, 175 km ride will take in the absolute best of the Nelson Region and cater to all levels of cyclists. The majority of the route is Grade 1 and 2, catering for all abilities. Some of the inland route is Grade 3 riding, still suitable for most riders. As of 2018, most of the route is now complete, with only the inland section between Norris Gully and Riwaka still utilising the rural road network.

There are numerous itineraries for this route, so choose your own. The itinerary below suggests an easy two-day cruise along the coast, with two longer, more challenging days on the inland route.

Nelson to Mapua (35 km)

This trail offers views stretching from the Western Ranges to the stunning blue waters of the Tasman Bay and the Waimea Estuary - home of a range of bird species including the white heron. Beginning in central Nelson, the route uses urban cycleway infrastructure along St Vincent St before joining an old rail corridor before dropping back down past the airport. The trail then follows along the estuary. After about 10 km (on the approach to Richmond), the trail splits. Head towards Mapua via the Waimea Inlet boardwalks leading out to Rabbit Island. From the far end of the island, a short boat trip can take you to Mapua. This quaint little village has boutique shops, cafes and restaurants. Note that over the winter months the ferry operates on a limited schedule.

Mapua to Kaiteriteri (42 km)

Leaving Mapua to the north-west, the Tasman Loop Trail heads to Motueka - a well serviced town with shops, wineries restaurants, a range of accommodation options and fresh fruit stalls leading into town. Initially the trail follows the coast to Ruby Bay before heading inland onto Tasman View Rd, which as the name suggests, offers great views out to sea and down over Motueka. The trail skirts the edges of Motueka, but if you are in the mood for refreshments you can head through town instead. Continue north to Riwaka, known for its hops that give many of New Zealand's best beers their aromas. The final stretch takes you through kiwifruit and apple orchards and along the coast to Kaiteriteri - the entry to Abel Tasman National Park - with a beautiful golden-sand beach where you can end your day with a relaxing dip.

As a side trip, consider a trip over the Takaka Hill to Takaka and beautiful Golden Bay where a vareity of cycle trails are on offer - including the Heaphy Track which is now open to mountain bikers.

Kaiteriteri to Tapawera (57 km)

You are now entering the business end of your journey. The southern section of Tasman's Great Taste Trail leads down quiet back roads along the Motueka River's bank. Begin by back-tracking down the trail to Riwaka. Several short roads through Riwaka lead you to the Motueka Valley West Bank Road, a narrow but quiet road that will take you gradually up river. Eventually you will cross the river and continue on up the Motueka Valley Highway. Take in the views of the surrounding mountains as you come to Tapawera, a peaceful place to spend the night.

Tapawera to Nelson (62 km)

Today's ride will take you along an abandoned railway corridor past historic tobacco drying kilns and back into civilisation at Wakefield. Don't forget your head torch as you will pass through New Zealand's longest decommissioned rail tunnel! From Tapawera, continue along the road past Kohatu and up to Norris Gully Reserve (11 km). It's time to get your lights on and an extra layer of clothing before entering Spooner's Tunnel. At 1.4 km long, it is the longest tunnel open to cyclists in the southern hemisphere, and the 6th longest in the world! Belgrove is not much further down the trail, where a historic windmill can be found nearby.

From here it is flat and fast riding back into Nelson, passing through Wakefield, Brightwater and Richmond, each with their own culinary options.

The Great Taste Trail can be accessed from various points around the Tasman bay, including Nelson, Richmond, Motueka and more.

To get to these locations, there are plenty of buses arriving from other locations such as Picton and Christchurch. Once here, there are some buses operating around the region, but they are not very regular, so some time planning will be required. If cycling isn't an option, a taxi cab may be a better option.

Almyra at Kina Boutique Accommodation
Luxury Accommodation
Almyra Luxury Accommodation at Kina Beach, offers you three luxurious individual suites. We're situated on the idyllic Kina Peninsula along the Ruby Coast between Nelson and Motueka.
Ajax Apartments & Hostel
Come bike with us!
Your Nelson ride starts here! Ajax Ave is just 50m from the Nelson Information Centre on the Banks of the Maitai River and Riverside Cycleway. Nelsons best rides all start at our doorstep... Dun Coppermine, Fireball, Cogers & Tantragee, Centre of New Zealand, Maitai Caves and Dam plus many others.
ASURE Fountain Resort Motel
UNIQUE facilities for families
Nelson motel accommodation at the ASURE Fountain Resort Motel where we provide quality motel Accommodation for your stay in Nelson, New Zealand at a very affordable price. ASURE Fountain Resort Motel is situated in a quiet residential street in the popular seaside village of Tahunanui Beach close to Nelson City.
Cats Pjamas B&B
Organic B&B -- Cycle Friendly
Cats Pjamas is a small organic B&B situated 3 km off the Tasman Great Taste Trail close to Mapua.
The Wheelhouse
SPECTACULAR SEA VIEWS can be enjoyed from each of our fabulous self-contained holiday home accommodations in Nelson, New Zealand. The Wheelhouse Inn holiday homes have expansive sea views from Nelson's Port Hills over sparkling Tasman Bay.
Kaiteri Lodge
Beach-style accommodation minutes from the famous Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park
Kaiteri Lodge is set right at the start of the Abel Tasman National Park.
Tahuna Beach Holiday Park
By the Beach, in the Sun
Tahuna Beach Holiday Park is the ideal location for your stay in Nelson. It is the largest Holiday Park in the southern hemisphere.
A Woodsy House
Phone Number: (0)3 546 8770
AMBER HOUSE - at the centre!â„¢
Phone Number: +64 21-202 4961
Chelsea Park
Chelsea Park Motor Lodge, Motel, bed and breakfast offers self-catering, bed and breakfast and motel accommodation in a Central Nelson location.
Phone Number: 0800 66 00 65
Hat Trick Lodge
Motueka is the ideal place to base yourself before checking out the Abel Tasman National Park or mountain biking the Heaphy Track, and the Hat Trick Lodge Backpackers is the ideal place to base yourself in Motueka.
Phone Number: 035285353
Arrow Motel
Phone Number:
Maitai Valley Motor Camp
Spacious camping in Bush setting. Awaken to early native birdsong.
Phone Number: 035487729
Wall St Accommodation
Two modern stylish homes in a peaceful bush setting, centrally located to explore Abel Tasman National Park, Golden Bay and Nelson environs. Base yourself here while cycling in the greater Nelson region.
Phone Number: 035278338
Tapawera Settle Motels and Campground
Set in the heart of the Motueka Valley on the route of the Nelson-Tasman cycleway, Tapawera Settle is a traditional camping ground full of rustic charm and yet complete with modern amenities and facilities.
Phone Number: 03 522 4334
Appleby House
The Appleby House offers holdiay home or bed & breakfast options and is an ideal place to base yourself during a trip to Nelson. Relax in our modern contempory large home on 25 acres of land in the midst of the Waimea Plains; base yourself here and be close to...
Phone Number: 027 6632 639
Nikau Apartments
Ensuite hot showers and new double beds at Nikau will help you sleep easy and recuperate. All apartments have their own fully equipped kitchen and heaps of private space to sort your stuff .
Phone Number: 035487000
Nelson Beach Hostel
We offer a bunch of bikes that our guests get to use at their leisure at no extra cost and are the ideal place to base yourself whilst biking in the Nelson Region!
Phone Number: 08005486817
Motueka River Lodge
It is with pride that we provide a level of luxury accommodation with a unique riverside location, ensuring that our guests relax and enjoy their stay from beginning to end.
Phone Number: 03 526 8668
Retiro Park Lodge
Set in a park on a 70-acre property in Teal Valley, nestled amongst hills with its own boutique vineyard, olive and almond groves, lies this exclusive Nelson Bed and Breakfast lodge. Retiro is Spanish for retreat, and is also the name of a beautiful park in Madrid, that was a...
Phone Number: +64 3 5450118
Trafalgar Lodge
Trafalgar Lodge offers affordably priced motels and lodge rooms in the city centre. 200m from the Nelson i-SITE for Atomic Shuttle connections. With comfortable, sunny and warm studios, 1-bedroom motel units or a 2-bedroom unit and ensuite rooms in the lodge.
Phone Number: 0800 00 00 51
Accents on the Park
Central Nelson Lodge & Backpackers
Accents on the Park is located in the heart of central Nelson City next to the Cathedral and just minutes walk from restaurants, shops, bars and the Nelson Saturday market. Accents backpackers lodge and hostel offers all the comforts and facilities modern world travellers are looking for.
Phone Number: 03 548 4335
Motueka Top 10 Holiday Park
5 star holiday accommodation
Motueka is the closest service town to the Abel Tasman National Park, where you can try tramping, sea kayaking, fishing, horse trekking, paragliding, tandem skydiving, helicopter or fixed wing flights -- and some of the best biking in the Tasman region.
Phone Number: 0800 66 88 35
Corru Gate Accommodation
Cycle-heaven accommodation
Corru Gate is stylish and different and right on the Great Taste Trail. City chic meets country style in this sunny, private, designer, family-friendly 3 bedroom cottage with an iconically Kiwi flavour on a 2ha farm overlooking the Ruby Coast between Nelson and Abel Tasman.
Phone Number: 035402793 or 0211671246
Vistara B&B
Vegetarian Breakfasts
We welcome you to Vistara a relaxed peaceful haven situated on our 7 acre property adjacent to the Motueka River.
Phone Number: +64 3 526 8288
Clifftops-Retreat
Clifftops Retreat is a new 1100 sq ft luxury cottage perched high on the cliffs near Nelson, overlooking sandy beaches, the glittering Tasman Sea and the sparkling lights of Nelson. It is a spectacular location.
Phone Number: 6435402767
Palms Motel
The Palms Motel offer you modern, interior decorated units, with a choice of studio, executive and family unit accommodation in Nelson, New Zealand.
Phone Number: 0800 NZByBike
Pixie Magic Hideaway Guest Accommodation
The perfect opportunity for couples or singles to escape the city life. Surround yourself with bird life and experience the unique simplistic life-style of living in a small space with all its quirky charm and character.
Phone Number: 0800 NZByBike
Nelson Cycle Hire
 We offer Cycle Hire and self-guided cycle tours based around the Nelson Great Taste Trail.
The Cycle Shop
Phone Number: 035476758
Village Cycles
Phone Number: 035447116

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