Nelson’s Great Taste Trail is part of the National Cycle Trail Network, and will eventually cover a distance of about 175 kilometres around the Nelson region offering easy, family friendly touring through a wide variety of landscapes.
The first sections of the trail are now completed and run largely off road from Norris Gully, 21 kilometres south of the village of Wakefield via Nelson to Kaiteriteri near the Abel Tasman National Park. The trail travels through a classic heritage landscape dotted with vineyards, apple orchards and market gardens, 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, 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. Clients can stop for a swim on the expansive Rabbit Island beach. From Mapua it wanders through low foothills to the town of Motueka, before following the coastline through Riwaka to the seaside village of Kaiteriteri, one of the main access points for the Abel Tasman National Park.
The Great Taste Trail has some special tasting experiences, including wineries, craft breweries, little cafes, fresh seafood, fruit and pick-your-own berries during the summer months.
Simply Wild Journeys have been offering guided mountain biking and cycling trips in Nelson since 2006, and the trail is a key part of many of our private trips. We offer a range of options for clients who wish to enjoy the easy riding on the trail in part or in full.
You can cycle all day if you wish, beginning usually at Norris Gully and cycling the 56 kilometres to Mapua, then on the second day cycling 42 kilometres to Kaiteriteri. Or you can take your time and cycle selected sections of the trail each day after discussing each section with us, while also enjoying of the special experiences along the way. Some of the parts of the trail we particularly enjoy are Norris Gully to Wakefield (including the through the 1.4km long decommissioned Spooners rail Tunnel), Richmond to Mapua (including the Mapua bike ferry) and Motueka to Kaiteriteri (ending in the Kaiteriteri Mountain bike park).
We can provide special trail style bikes (more upright and comfortable), traditional mountain bikes or electric bikes.
Simply Wild Great Taste Trail trips are private trips – We have two categories of trip:
- Fully guided (You will have a friendly & experienced guide all the way. We supply transport to and from the ride, ferry fares, bikes, helmets, gloves and a delightful picnic lunch).
- Self guided and supported (We take you to the beginning of the ride, provide ferry fares, bikes, helmets, gloves and a delightful picnic lunch. We also supply a cellphone for you to call us during the ride (if you have any issues) or at the end of your ride when we need to collect you, and a map of the ride and nearby attractions.
We’ll provide you with overnight accommodation to suit your requirements near Mapua, or in Nelson City if you wish.
Guide, driver and vehicle
Bikes, helmets & gloves
A delightful picnic lunch from our café
Ferry fares – Rabbit Island to Mapua
Cellphone for supported, self guided riding
FAQs coming soon