Enjoy two active days enjoying the best of Nelson’s landscape and coastline by private guided cycle & sea kayak
This active, fully guided, private two day trip offers you an easy cycling journey along Nelson’s newest attraction – The Great Taste Trail, staying a night in a luxury or premium accommodation in Motueka area, then into the Abel Tasman National Park on the second day to sea kayak in the park (and walk if you wish), staying the night at Peppers Awaroa Lodge.
Simply Wild have been offering guided mountain biking and cycling trips in Nelson since 2006. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to offer easy cycling on The Great Taste Trail. Nelson’s Great Taste Trail is part of the National Cycle Trail Network, offering easy, family friendly touring through a wide variety of landscapes.
Easy-to-ride, with a gradient similar to the Otago Central Rail Trail, the Great Taste Trail caters for a wide range of cyclists and walkers. As stages of the trail are completed there will be the choice of day rides or a series of overnight stops. When complete, the whole trail – including a section in the Motueka River Valley – will eventually cover a distance of about 175km and will run from Nelson Airport, to Richmond, out to Tapawera, along the Motueka River Valley to Riwaka, and then back to Richmond through Motueka and Mapua.
The Abel Tasman National Park is the smallest jewel in the crown of New Zealand’s national park network (22,500 hectares) yet it reflects a unique identity among the much larger, more mountainous parks. It encompasses kilometres of idyllic golden sand beaches washed by the tidal flows of Tasman Bay, linked by an easy walking track of exceptional standard, alternating with hidden coves, estuaries and spectacular granite outcrops.
Offshore lie numerous islands punctuating the broad sweep of Tasman Bay, providing sanctuary for seabirds, seals and penguins.
Looking down toward the sea from the track while walking, you will see the brilliant blue-green of the water and golden sand set against luxuriant forest and tree fern, with a feeling of being on an island paradise. Looking inland however, the park presents a different profile, with dense forested hills rising steeply to 800 – 1100 metres, drained by rugged watersheds which fall to the coast through deep gorges and impassable waterfalls. The park has an interesting history, with Maori settlement, Dutch and French explorers, before being settled by English settlers in the 1850’s.
Our guide will collect you in the morning at a time that suits you, from the airport if you have just arrived, or from your accommodation in Nelson. (We are happy to arrange overnight accommodation in Nelson for you.)
The first section of the trail begins at Norris Gully near the village of Wakefield, set in the foothills of the Waimea Plains, and initially travels through disused old rail tunnel (1.4 kilometres long) and a classic heritage landscape dotted with vineyards, apple orchards, market gardens and the village of Brightwater, before reaching the Tasman Bay coastline near Richmond. It then follows the coastline around the Waimea Estuary to Rabbit Island, a council reserve with recreation areas and pine forest, where you can stop for a swim on the expansive beach.
The trail travels along the island to the old Mapua wharf, a small boutique area of interesting shops, cafes and a brewery. The final leg across to the wharf and Mapua village from the island is across the estuary by special bike ferry. The section between Norris gully and Mapua takes around 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 hours at an easy pace. The trail has some special tasting experiences, including wineries, craft breweries, little cafes, fresh seafood, fruit and pick-your-own berries during the summer months.
We’ll provide delightful and comfortable accommodation depending on your budget near Mapua or back in Nelson City if you wish.
After we collect you from your accommodation, we’ll drive to Marahau near the beginning of Abel Tasman National Park to board a water taxi into Anchorage in the park (Your bags will be taken on to Awaroa Lodge by the water taxi). From Anchorage you will explore the famous Abel Tasman coastline in sea kayaks, one of the best sea kayak destinations in the world. You’ll enjoy paddling along the rocky coastline, with it’s golden beaches, tranquil inlets and native bush, before making your way to Awaroa Eco Lodge at Awaroa in the National Park where you will spend the night.
You will be paddling for 2 – 3 hours, with time to stop and swim or just enjoy the stunning beaches and bays, with a 1 hour scenic hike to Awaroa on the Abel Tasman track later in the day.
At Awaroa you will stay at the Awaroa Ecolodge. Awaroa is only accessible by foot, boat or helicopter.
We’ll return you to Nelson by water taxi and our vehicle this morning. Return by fixed wing plane or helicopter (including scenic variations) are options at extra cost.
Each trip is all inclusive of vehicle & boat transfers, accommodation as specified, guide, chef, park fees and all meals. (Does not include alcohol)
FAQs – coming soon