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6 Day Nelson Bike, Hike, and Sail

Total Cycling Distance up to 183 kms; Hiking Distance 14.5 kms

Days
6

Pricing From
$2395

Difficulty

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Overview

Explore the Great Taste Cycle trail and visit the local wineries, breweries, craft outlets and unique museums in the area, while staying in some amazing accommodation along the way.  This is your ultimate bike, walk, and sailing holiday. 

On this tour, we ride on the peaceful back country roads and completed sections of the Great Taste Cycle trail, with one main feature being the flat cycling and long easy downhill parts. This tour gives you the opportunity to sail in the beautiful waters Abel Tasman National Park. Accommodation varies from a Mediterranean themed motel near a yacht harbour, to a health resort located above a stunning golden sands beach and an alpine lodge.

Short early morning hikes in the Nelson Lakes National Park are an option in this area and you will have the opportunity to hear the splendid “dawn chorus” as the world awakes.  This protected forest sanctuary and the long downhill ride to the Marlborough wineries are just two of the main attractions along this route. 

The tour begins and finishes in Christchurch with easy flight access. 

Trip Highlights

  • Explore the Tasman Great Taste Cycle Trail’s stunning coastline and inland rides
  • Experience the beautiful Queen Charlotte
  • Sounds with a scenic bush walk
  • Take a bicycle ferry from the beautiful town of Mapua to the Ruby Coast
  • Test your tastebuds at local wineries, breweries and orchards
  • Discover the city of Nelson ‑ known for its sunshine, arts, wine and great food
  • Sail through the Abel Tasman National Park on a Catamaran
  • Enjoy a half day walk on the famous Abel Tasman track
  • Make pancakes and billy tea on a perpetually burning fire hidden in native bush

Wine Tasting on Nelson Cycle Trails

Nelson Cycle Trails

6 Day Nelson Great Taste Guided Cycle Trails

6 Day Nelson Great Taste Guided Cycle Trails

6 Day Nelson Great Taste Guided Cycle Trails

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Christchurch to BlenheimApprox 27km riding distance Blenheim towards Renwick

We will collect you early this morning from a central Christchurch location around 7:30am and head away on our drive north to Kaikoura (2.5 - 3 hours). This scenic journey crosses the Canterbury Plains, winds over the Hunderlee Hills and then follows the beautiful coastline to arrive in time for lunch. We will enjoy a walk along the dramatic Kaikoura peninsula, spotting a few seals along the way with a bit of luck. This provides a good opportunity to stretch our legs before a further drive along the coast road (around 1.5 hours) to Blenheim. Here we will unload the bikes, try them out and enjoy our first cycle ride amongst the Marlborough vineyards.

Marlborough is world renowned for its Sauvignon Blanc wine, and we take the time for some wine tasting at a few of the local vineyards along the way.

Then a final van transfer takes us to Picton, a peaceful little port town, and our stop for the night. Picton is nestled in the beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound surrounded by hills, in the evening there will be time to wander along the waterfront to watch the ferries come and go. 

Meals: D

Day 2Picton to NelsonHiking Distance: 12km, approx 3-4 hours walking

This morning we take a water taxi to the nearby Queen Charlotte track, a spectacular ridge top walk above the Marlborough Sound. We get dropped off at Te Mahia Saddle and spend the morning weaving through lush native bush with glimpses into the many bays and coves below. Arriving at the little village of Anakiwa at the end of the track, we enjoy a picnic lunch on the beach. After lunch we continue to Nelson - the “sunshine capital” of the South Island of New Zealand, where we visit the renowned World of Wearable Arts & Classic Car Museum enroute. Arriving to Nelson and our central city accommodation we have some time to explore the town before regrouping for dinner. 

Meals: B,L,D

Day 3Nelson to MotuekaRichmond to Mapua - 18km, Mapua to Motueka - 22km

After breakfast we drive to Richmond to rejoin the Great Taste Trail. Before starting on your bike there is the option to take a tour of the Pic's Peanut butter factory, a local Nelson institution!

Today's coastal ride takes us to Rabbit Island passing vineyards and galleries on the way. We take a short ferry journey to Mapua where we have lunch at one of the excellent waterfront cafes, before continuing our cycle along the Ruby Coast and into Motueka.

From here we have the option to cycle another 8km to Riwaka River Estate Winery for a late afternoon tasting. We then load up the bikes and return to Motueka for overnight. For those who still have some energy, we can cycle from the winery back to our accommodation at Motueka.

Optional ride: Motueka to Riwaka Winery - 8km each way

Meals: B,L

Day 4Abel Tasman Hike, return to MotuekaWalking Distance: 12.5km, Sailing: 3 hours

This morning we drive to Marahau and the start of the famous Abel Tasman track. We will rest our cycle legs by taking a half day hike into Anchorage on the Abel Tasman walkway. The track is well formed and drops into several beautiful sheltered bays and golden sand beaches. At midday we have lunch overlooking Torrent Bay and then board a catamaran for an exciting sail around the heads and back to our vehicle. To round out a wonderful day, we take some time to enjoy Kaiteriteri beach, with the chance for a late afternoon swim or a relaxing stroll along the golden sands. From here it is only a short drive back to Motueka.

Meals: B,L,D

Day 5Motueka to St ArnaudMoutere Valley Ride - 38km, Norris Gully to Wai-iti Domain - 13km

Our ride today is on a very quiet and pretty road along the west bank of the Moutere River, starting from Riwaka and passing through vineyards, kiwifruit orchards and hops farms along the way. This is an on road section of the Great Taste Trail which takes us through to Woodstock.

After loading the bikes to drive a busy section of road to Kohatu for lunch, we continue on the Great Taste Trail through the Norris Gully, to the historic Spooners Tunnel.At 1.4km, it is New Zealand's longest decommissioned rail tunnel. A lovely downhill gradient takes us down to the Wai-iti Domain where we once again meet the bus and load up the bikes.

We transfer by van through to St Arnaud and our hotel for the night, which is located on the edge of the Nelson Lakes National Park, set amidst stunning wilderness scenery. In the afternoon there are plenty of options for some lovely walks along the lakeside or take a swim in Lake Rotoiti.

Meals: B,L,D

Day 6St Arnaud to Christchurch

This morning we drive alongside the Buller River on the way to Murchison, a small town at the confluence of four rivers and servicing the surrounding farming region. Here we witness a truly unique phenomenon as part of "the Natural Flames Experience". We will 4WD through a deer farm and enjoy a hike through native bush to discover "The Flames", the world's only fire perpetually burning in a forest. Enjoy ‘billy tea’ and pancakes cooked on the flames. Returning to Murchison to our own vehicle we drive over Lewis Pass and back to Christchurch, reminiscing about the variety of experiences we have encountered over the last few days.

Meals: B

Cost per person

October 2019 - April 2020

  • Twin: NZ$2,395

Single Supplement: NZ$525
Bike Rental: NZ$180
E-Bike Rental: NZ$480
New Year's supplement: NZ$100
Public Holiday supplement: NZ$50

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Christchurch to BlenheimApprox 27km riding distance Blenheim towards Renwick

We will collect you early this morning from a central Christchurch location around 7:30am and head away on our drive north to Kaikoura (2.5 - 3 hours). This scenic journey crosses the Canterbury Plains, winds over the Hunderlee Hills and then follows the beautiful coastline to arrive in time for lunch. We will enjoy a walk along the dramatic Kaikoura peninsula, spotting a few seals along the way with a bit of luck. This provides a good opportunity to stretch our legs before a further drive along the coast road (around 1.5 hours) to Blenheim. Here we will unload the bikes, try them out and enjoy our first cycle ride amongst the Marlborough vineyards.

Marlborough is world renowned for its Sauvignon Blanc wine, and we take the time for some wine tasting at a few of the local vineyards along the way.

Then a final van transfer takes us to Picton, a peaceful little port town, and our stop for the night. Picton is nestled in the beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound surrounded by hills, in the evening there will be time to wander along the waterfront to watch the ferries come and go. 

Meals: D

Day 2Picton to NelsonHiking Distance: 12km, approx 3-4 hours walking

This morning we take a water taxi to the nearby Queen Charlotte track, a spectacular ridge top walk above the Marlborough Sound. We get dropped off at Te Mahia Saddle and spend the morning weaving through lush native bush with glimpses into the many bays and coves below. Arriving at the little village of Anakiwa at the end of the track, we enjoy a picnic lunch on the beach. After lunch we continue to Nelson - the “sunshine capital” of the South Island of New Zealand, where we visit the renowned World of Wearable Arts & Classic Car Museum enroute. Arriving to Nelson and our central city accommodation we have some time to explore the town before regrouping for dinner. 

Meals: B,L,D

Day 3Nelson to MotuekaRichmond to Mapua - 18km, Mapua to Motueka - 22km

After breakfast we drive to Richmond to rejoin the Great Taste Trail. Before starting on your bike there is the option to take a tour of the Pic's Peanut butter factory, a local Nelson institution!

Today's coastal ride takes us to Rabbit Island passing vineyards and galleries on the way. We take a short ferry journey to Mapua where we have lunch at one of the excellent waterfront cafes, before continuing our cycle along the Ruby Coast and into Motueka.

From here we have the option to cycle another 8km to Riwaka River Estate Winery for a late afternoon tasting. We then load up the bikes and return to Motueka for overnight. For those who still have some energy, we can cycle from the winery back to our accommodation at Motueka.

Optional ride: Motueka to Riwaka Winery - 8km each way

Meals: B,L

Day 4Abel Tasman Hike, return to MotuekaWalking Distance: 12.5km, Sailing: 3 hours

This morning we drive to Marahau and the start of the famous Abel Tasman track. We will rest our cycle legs by taking a half day hike into Anchorage on the Abel Tasman walkway. The track is well formed and drops into several beautiful sheltered bays and golden sand beaches. At midday we have lunch overlooking Torrent Bay and then board a catamaran for an exciting sail around the heads and back to our vehicle. To round out a wonderful day, we take some time to enjoy Kaiteriteri beach, with the chance for a late afternoon swim or a relaxing stroll along the golden sands. From here it is only a short drive back to Motueka.

Meals: B,L,D

Day 5Motueka to St ArnaudMoutere Valley Ride - 38km, Norris Gully to Wai-iti Domain - 13km

Our ride today is on a very quiet and pretty road along the west bank of the Moutere River, starting from Riwaka and passing through vineyards, kiwifruit orchards and hops farms along the way. This is an on road section of the Great Taste Trail which takes us through to Woodstock.

After loading the bikes to drive a busy section of road to Kohatu for lunch, we continue on the Great Taste Trail through the Norris Gully, to the historic Spooners Tunnel.At 1.4km, it is New Zealand's longest decommissioned rail tunnel. A lovely downhill gradient takes us down to the Wai-iti Domain where we once again meet the bus and load up the bikes.

We transfer by van through to St Arnaud and our hotel for the night, which is located on the edge of the Nelson Lakes National Park, set amidst stunning wilderness scenery. In the afternoon there are plenty of options for some lovely walks along the lakeside or take a swim in Lake Rotoiti.

Meals: B,L,D

Day 6St Arnaud to Christchurch

This morning we drive alongside the Buller River on the way to Murchison, a small town at the confluence of four rivers and servicing the surrounding farming region. Here we witness a truly unique phenomenon as part of "the Natural Flames Experience". We will 4WD through a deer farm and enjoy a hike through native bush to discover "The Flames", the world's only fire perpetually burning in a forest. Enjoy ‘billy tea’ and pancakes cooked on the flames. Returning to Murchison to our own vehicle we drive over Lewis Pass and back to Christchurch, reminiscing about the variety of experiences we have encountered over the last few days.

Meals: B

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