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5 Day The Loop Great Taste Trail Supported Bike Tour

Total minimum cycling distance 160 kms

Days
5

Pricing From
$1599

Difficulty

Book Now

Overview

Saddle up and experience New Zealand like never before in this 4-day The Loop Great Taste Trail cycle tour that takes you along the completed stages of Tasman’s Great Taste Trail, which now includes the recently opened Spooner Tunnel section. At 1,352 metres long, it’s the longest of its kind in the southern hemisphere, making it a must-do! It’s also historic. Completed in 1893, the Spooner Tunnel is the oldest disused rail in New Zealand.

The Rail Route begins in Nelson, and takes you to Wakefield, passing through Stoke, Richmond and Brightwater. Take a break and see intriguing costume designs at the World of Wearable Art Museum, and enjoy a sip of the region’s finest drinks at world-class wineries and craft breweries.

On the second day, pedal through the Spooners Tunnel, passing the historic rest stop beer garden at Belgrove Tavern before powering on to the Pigeon Valley summit. Then make your descent to Kaiteriteri via the Valley Route on Motueka’s West Bank.

At Kaiteriteri, you can choose to linger for a day or two and experience the ‘8th wonder of the world’ – the renowned Abel Tasman National Park. There are plenty of outdoor activities to indulge in if you are game: kayaking, walking, and getting on an afternoon cruise.

Get back on the saddle on your third day of cycling, and take the scenic Coastal Route to Mapua via Riwaka, Motueka, Lower Moutere and Tasman. This portion of the Great Taste Trail is popular for its delightful cafes along the way.

The last day of your cycling will bring you to Rabbit Island in a short but sweet crossing aboard the Mapua Ferry. Pedal around the island, and enjoy farmland vistas and fantastic scenery on coastal boardwalks before arriving at your final destination.

Great Taste Trail

Coastal Trail

Winery Great Taste Trail

Winery on Great Taste Trail

Bike Great Taste Trail

Bike amongst the vines

Spooners Tunnel Great Taste Trail

Spooners Tunnel

Belgrove Beer Garden Great Taste Trail

Belgrove Beer Garden

Relaxing in the beer garden Great Taste Trail

Relaxing in the beer garden

Coastal Board Walk Great Taste Trail

Coastal Board Walk

Motueka West Bank Great Taste Trail

Motueka West Bank

Kaiteriteri Beach Great Taste Trail

Kaiteriteri Beach

Mapua Ferry Great Taste Trail

Mapua Ferry

Time for a stop Great Taste Trail

Time for a stop

Rabbit Island Great Taste Trail

Rabbit Island

Waimea Swing Bridge Great Taste Trail

Waimea Swing Bridge

Lookout Great Taste Trail

Lookout

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Nelson to WakefieldCycling Distance 32 kms

Arrive at Nelson Airport where Trail Journeys will meet you and transport you to our base in Nelson City. We will fit you to your bikes and supply all the information required to enjoy a fantastic cycling adventure you will remember forever.

You may wish to arrive the day before and explore Nelson City and enjoy the range of fabulous dining options available.

Your first morning of cycling follows the Great Taste Trail signs taking you south to the outskirts of the City. Here you will enter the old rail corridor, a sealed cycle path that takes you over bridges, under the motorway, before winding your way around the estuary towards Richmond. Take a break and explore the interesting ‘World of Wearable Art’ (WOW) museum. (Entry is Included in your package).

A little further up the trail, enjoy the atmosphere of the Honest Lawyer, a Country style pub, for lunch or a beverage.

Near Richmond you will cross the main road and very quickly head out amongst the vineyards, orchards and farmland, enroute to Wakefield. Choose to enjoy a winery or explore the Grape Escape Cafe.

Continuing south you will cross the Waimea River via a swing bridge and carry on to Brightwater, and then on to the quaint village of Wakefield, 7 km’s away.

The Brightwater to Wakefield stretch has quiet on road sections with minimal traffic, and winds through farmland and a small native forest, into Wakefield where your accommodation awaits.

Accommodation: Wakefield
Meals: Breakfast

Day 2Wakefield to Kaiteriteri via Spooners Tunnel (B)Cycling Distance 50 kms

8:00am Pick-up: You are in for a nice treat this morning as you head south and ride through one of the main attractions on the Great Taste Trail. The Spooners Tunnel, at 1352 metres long, is the oldest disused rail tunnel in the southern hemisphere. The tunnel is pitch black and is a constant ten degrees so take a jumper. After exiting the tunnel a lovely downhill gradient takes you down to the Wai-iti Domain, before heading over the Pigeon Valley summit, down the Dovedale Valley to Woodstock.

(At this point you may choose to do more or less cycling as we can drop you anywhere down the Dovedale Valley or West bank).

After crossing the Baton Bridge to Motueka’s West Bank it’s time to “get back in the saddles” again. This quiet country road passes through farmland, native forests and small settlements while generally following the river. There are no eateries along this section so Trail Journeys will provide you with a packed lunch and snacks.

If it’s a nice day then a swim in a Motueka river makes for a great stop.

After 30.4 kms you will arrive at Umukuro Road where you carry straight onto Anderson Road, turning right on Factory Road, before re-joining the Great Taste Trail in Riwaka. From this point Kaiteriteri is 10 kms away. Tip: If you enjoy your craft beer, then a tasting at The Hop Federation is just 380m off the trail in Riwaka.

The ride into Kaiteriteri takes in boardwalks, bridges, farmlands and orchards before entering the ‘Easy Rider’ trail of the Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park. This 4km section through the mountain bike park takes in stunning native 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, drop offs and switchbacks.

Once you enter Kaiteriteri, you can explore the famous golden sands and atmosphere of Kaiteriteri, the gateway to the famous Abel Tasman National Park. We highly recommend you add one or two days to experience walking, kayaking or a cruise through the Park. This is truly spectacular and peaceful!!

Day 3Kaiteriteri - Abel Tasman National Park - Cruise and Walk (B, L)

Departing at 9:00am, you will experience the famous ‘Discoverer Day’ on board Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle. This is their ultimate boat cruise and walk combination in the Abel Tasman National Park.

With three different walk options (A,B or C) the Discoverer Day offers all the best the Abel Tasman has to offer with a Full Park Scenic Cruise, visits to Split Apple Rock and a Fur Seal colony, golden beaches, stunning forest walking and wildlife encounters all in one superb day out.

If you would like to add some Sea Kayaking then Trail Journeys will work with you, to customise your itinerary, to your requirements.

Day 4Kaiteriteri to Mapua (B)Cycling Distance 40 kms

After breakfast it’s time to climb on your bikes again, bound for Mapua. After exiting the mountain bike park, you will enjoy a leisurely ride with many scenic attractions along the way. Re-trace your steps back to Riwaka, and make your way around the coastal trail of Motueka, enjoying the variety of bird species and scenery. A recommended coffee/meal stop is ‘Toad Hall’ at the (southern) end of Motueka.

On leaving Motueka you will pass through the Riverside Community, (great café here called Riverside Café) then head up over Tasman View Road. (This section is grade 2-3 and is a steady climb). However, the spectacular views of Tasman Bay make it all worth it!

Onward to the quaint village of Tasman, and then past New Zealand’s number 1 café, ‘Jester House’. This is also a recommended coffee/café stop. Enjoy the lovely gardens & feed the ‘Tame Eels’.

You are now just 8kms from Mapua, where you will stay tonight. Here you can enjoy the buzzing atmosphere of galleries, studios, restaurants, cafes, shops, wine bar, and craft beer.

Day 5Mapua to Nelson Airport or Nelson City (B)Cycling Distance 22-32 kms

Relax on the Mapua Wharf before boarding the iconic Mapua Ferry for the short trip across the channel to Rabbit Island. This is a relatively short day bound for your final destination.

The trail takes you along the main beach of Rabbit Island where long white sandy beaches and the peaceful surroundings are very calming. Upon leaving the island and heading towards Richmond, you will cross the spectacular Waimea Swing Bridge, before taking in the views from the coastal boardwalks of the Waimea Estuary and fertile farmland, (home to a range of internationally significant bird species including the white heron). Make your way back to our Nelson Depot to drop your bikes and collect your bags.

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Nelson to WakefieldCycling Distance 32 kms

Arrive at Nelson Airport where Trail Journeys will meet you and transport you to our base in Nelson City. We will fit you to your bikes and supply all the information required to enjoy a fantastic cycling adventure you will remember forever.

You may wish to arrive the day before and explore Nelson City and enjoy the range of fabulous dining options available.

Your first morning of cycling follows the Great Taste Trail signs taking you south to the outskirts of the City. Here you will enter the old rail corridor, a sealed cycle path that takes you over bridges, under the motorway, before winding your way around the estuary towards Richmond. Take a break and explore the interesting ‘World of Wearable Art’ (WOW) museum. (Entry is Included in your package).

A little further up the trail, enjoy the atmosphere of the Honest Lawyer, a Country style pub, for lunch or a beverage.

Near Richmond you will cross the main road and very quickly head out amongst the vineyards, orchards and farmland, enroute to Wakefield. Choose to enjoy a winery or explore the Grape Escape Cafe.

Continuing south you will cross the Waimea River via a swing bridge and carry on to Brightwater, and then on to the quaint village of Wakefield, 7 km’s away.

The Brightwater to Wakefield stretch has quiet on road sections with minimal traffic, and winds through farmland and a small native forest, into Wakefield where your accommodation awaits.

Accommodation: Wakefield
Meals: Breakfast

Day 2Wakefield to Kaiteriteri via Spooners Tunnel (B)Cycling Distance 50 kms

8:00am Pick-up: You are in for a nice treat this morning as you head south and ride through one of the main attractions on the Great Taste Trail. The Spooners Tunnel, at 1352 metres long, is the oldest disused rail tunnel in the southern hemisphere. The tunnel is pitch black and is a constant ten degrees so take a jumper. After exiting the tunnel a lovely downhill gradient takes you down to the Wai-iti Domain, before heading over the Pigeon Valley summit, down the Dovedale Valley to Woodstock.

(At this point you may choose to do more or less cycling as we can drop you anywhere down the Dovedale Valley or West bank).

After crossing the Baton Bridge to Motueka’s West Bank it’s time to “get back in the saddles” again. This quiet country road passes through farmland, native forests and small settlements while generally following the river. There are no eateries along this section so Trail Journeys will provide you with a packed lunch and snacks.

If it’s a nice day then a swim in a Motueka river makes for a great stop.

After 30.4 kms you will arrive at Umukuro Road where you carry straight onto Anderson Road, turning right on Factory Road, before re-joining the Great Taste Trail in Riwaka. From this point Kaiteriteri is 10 kms away. Tip: If you enjoy your craft beer, then a tasting at The Hop Federation is just 380m off the trail in Riwaka.

The ride into Kaiteriteri takes in boardwalks, bridges, farmlands and orchards before entering the ‘Easy Rider’ trail of the Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park. This 4km section through the mountain bike park takes in stunning native 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, drop offs and switchbacks.

Once you enter Kaiteriteri, you can explore the famous golden sands and atmosphere of Kaiteriteri, the gateway to the famous Abel Tasman National Park. We highly recommend you add one or two days to experience walking, kayaking or a cruise through the Park. This is truly spectacular and peaceful!!

Day 3Kaiteriteri - Abel Tasman National Park - Cruise and Walk (B, L)

Departing at 9:00am, you will experience the famous ‘Discoverer Day’ on board Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle. This is their ultimate boat cruise and walk combination in the Abel Tasman National Park.

With three different walk options (A,B or C) the Discoverer Day offers all the best the Abel Tasman has to offer with a Full Park Scenic Cruise, visits to Split Apple Rock and a Fur Seal colony, golden beaches, stunning forest walking and wildlife encounters all in one superb day out.

If you would like to add some Sea Kayaking then Trail Journeys will work with you, to customise your itinerary, to your requirements.

Day 4Kaiteriteri to Mapua (B)Cycling Distance 40 kms

After breakfast it’s time to climb on your bikes again, bound for Mapua. After exiting the mountain bike park, you will enjoy a leisurely ride with many scenic attractions along the way. Re-trace your steps back to Riwaka, and make your way around the coastal trail of Motueka, enjoying the variety of bird species and scenery. A recommended coffee/meal stop is ‘Toad Hall’ at the (southern) end of Motueka.

On leaving Motueka you will pass through the Riverside Community, (great café here called Riverside Café) then head up over Tasman View Road. (This section is grade 2-3 and is a steady climb). However, the spectacular views of Tasman Bay make it all worth it!

Onward to the quaint village of Tasman, and then past New Zealand’s number 1 café, ‘Jester House’. This is also a recommended coffee/café stop. Enjoy the lovely gardens & feed the ‘Tame Eels’.

You are now just 8kms from Mapua, where you will stay tonight. Here you can enjoy the buzzing atmosphere of galleries, studios, restaurants, cafes, shops, wine bar, and craft beer.

Day 5Mapua to Nelson Airport or Nelson City (B)Cycling Distance 22-32 kms

Relax on the Mapua Wharf before boarding the iconic Mapua Ferry for the short trip across the channel to Rabbit Island. This is a relatively short day bound for your final destination.

The trail takes you along the main beach of Rabbit Island where long white sandy beaches and the peaceful surroundings are very calming. Upon leaving the island and heading towards Richmond, you will cross the spectacular Waimea Swing Bridge, before taking in the views from the coastal boardwalks of the Waimea Estuary and fertile farmland, (home to a range of internationally significant bird species including the white heron). Make your way back to our Nelson Depot to drop your bikes and collect your bags.

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