The Great Taste Cycle Trail in New Zealand
Tasman's Great Taste Trail is part of a group of trails for cyclists called the Great Bike Rides that are being made throughout New Zealand by the NZ Cycle Trails Project. The first part of Tasman's Great Taste Trail was made accessible in 2012. Commencing in Nelson the 175km cycle trail follows a route with magnificent coastal views of Waimea Estuary, the Tasman Bay and the peaks of Mt Owen, the Crusaders and Mt Arthur in the rugged Western Ranges.
Created for bike riders, the Great Taste Trail is a cycleway offering a scenic off-road journey through some of New Zealand's most attractive and picturesque areas. Many parts of the trail offer easy, flat riding through rolling hills, valleys, and past golden beaches with rich heritage. It offers a great experience for food lovers and fans of wine, beer, or art.
The Great Taste Trail is split into two main parts. One section, called the Rail Route, goes inland through the main wine region and is easily accessible from the trail. The other section, the Coastal Trail, goes past spectacular rural and coastal scenery.
Whilst cycling around Waimea Estuary, look out for the many migratory birds in the area including the royal spoonbill, white heron, bar-tailed godwit, Australasian bittern and little egret. At Mapua there are many small artisan shops to browse, as well as excellent small cafes and restaurants. The route takes you through many small wineries, past Abel Tasman National Park, and along a long abandoned railway track.