Discover breathtaking landscapes that incorporate both coastal and mountainous vistas while exploring the Great Taste Cycle Trail in the renowned Nelson / Tasman region. This itinerary has all the trademarks of a great introductory cycling journey - inspiring scenery, quiet back country roads, flat cycle trails and long easy downhill runs. The region is well known for its crafts, wine and great food. The best time to visit is autumn, when the weather is settled and the local harvest is in full swing. This tour allows exploration of the coast and hinterland alike, by both bike and foot, as well as time to visit craft galleries, breweries, cottage industries, wineries and a very unusual themed museum. A cycling highlight is the chance to achieve a personal best on a long downhill ride to the Marlborough wineries. There are also options for short, early morning hikes in the Nelson Lakes National Park to listen to the local birds perform their 'dawn chorus' in a protected forest sanctuary.
To determine the grade of a particular adventure we consider a number of factors. These include the condition of the terrain, the altitude, the number of pass crossings and the length of the trip. The Nelson Great Taste Trail is graded introductory, you will mainly be cycling on quiet rural roads & easy dedicated cycle paths. You will need a reasonable level of fitness and we suggest 30 minutes of aerobic type exercise, (either cycling or jogging) three times a week for the three months leading up to your trip. Some of the trail is on hard packed gravel - if you can get in some cycling on gravel before your tour it will make the experience a lot more fun.
We will collect you early this morning from your central Christchurch accommodation for a bike fitting and briefing at our depot. Today is mostly a travel day and following our briefing we drive north to Kaikoura (approx 2.5 - 3hrs). The drive is scenic and we time our arrival for lunch and a walk along the 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 scenic drive (approx 1.5 hrs) to Blenheim where we overnight. Blenheim is the service centre for the surrounding vineyards, orchards and agricultural region, with a beautiful mountain backdrop.
Important: The night before your tour departs your guide will call your pre tour accommodation to advise what time they will collect you the following morning. (Please make sure you have given us information as to where you are staying). If you are not around when your guide calls they will leave a message at reception – it is really important that you check with reception if you have not heard from your guide directly. If for any reason you have not heard from your guide by the morning of the tour please call us in the NZ office on 0800 00 11 66 (from within NZ).
This morning we cycle amongst the vineyards en route to Brancott Estate for some wine tasting before driving via Renwick and Havelock, famous for its mussel culture, to Nelson - the "sunshine capital" of the South Island of New Zealand. We'll have lunch here followed by a visit to the renowned World of Wearable Arts & Classic Car Museum. Afterwards we will get back on our bikes and cycle to Wakefield along the Great Taste Trail, with an optional visit to a brewery en route if time permits. We load up the bikes and return to Nelson to our waterfront accommodation where we spend the night.
Cycle distance - Blenheim to Brancott Estate approx 20km
World of Wearable Arts Museum to Wakefield 23 km
This morning we drive to Richmond and rejoin the Great Taste Trail. Today's coastal ride takes us to Rabbit Island with options to stop at vineyards & potteries on the way. We take the Flat Bottomed Ferry (a specialized bike transport ferry) to Mapua where we have lunch at one of the excellent waterfront cafes, before continuing our cycle along the Ruby Coast and into Motueka.
Cycle Distance - Richmond to Mapua- 18 km
Mapua to Motueka - 22 km
This morning we drive to Marahau and the start of the Abel Tasman track. We will rest our cycle legs for a short while on a half day hike into Anchorage on the famous Abel Tasman walkway. The track is well formed and drops into several sheltered bays and 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 cycle from the seaside resort of Kaiteriteri to Riwaka River Estate Winery for a late afternoon tasting. We load up the bikes and return to Motueka for overnight. Alternatively, for those who still have some energy, you can cycle from the winery back to our accommodation at Motueka.
Walk - 12.5km
Sail - 3 hrs
Cycle - 9 km (additional 7 km optional)
We enjoy two lovely rides today. The first is a very quiet and pretty road along the west bank of the Moutere River, starting from Riwaka and passing through vineyards, kiwifruit orchards and hop 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 we drive a busy section of road to Lake Rotoroa where our second ride is a fabulous downhill route beside the Gowan River amidst stunning wilderness scenery. Our hotel for the night is located on the edge of the Nelson Lakes National Park. For those with energy to burn, there are some lovely easy walks along the lakeside.
-Moutere Valley ride - 38 km
-Lake Rotoroa ride- 12 km
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. Arrival time in Christchurch is between 6:00 - 7:00pm.
Cycle distance - optional 20km
HYBRID BIKE (Additional Charge)
Our Trek hybrid bikes blend the best characteristics of both road and mountain bikes into a comfortable bike ideal for riding on both sealed roads and gravel cycle trails.
The hybrid design allows you to sit upright in a position that provides the best control of the bike with well-placed centre of gravity and in a posture that reduces strain on the rider's neck and back. Also meaning you can take in the amazing scenery you'll see along the way.
We have low rise, also known as step though bike frames, as well as standard frame styles.
ELECTRIC BIKE (Additional Charge)
Our Avanti Discovery low step e-Bike is perfect for cyclists that may require a little assistance on their travels. Pedalling our e-Bikes is easier on knees and joints than riding a traditional bike. They provide up to 80kms of pedal assistance before requiring recharging. Very simple to operate and they provide people with varying levels of cycling experience, health and fitness levels the opportunity to enjoy our cycling holidays.
For bicycle specifications please contact us for more details.
Bikes can be fitted with flat pedals, toes clips or SPD pedals. A bicycle helmet and drink bottle will be included with your bike rental, along with a 15L saddle bag for personal items you might need in the day.
Per Person, Twin Share
"Great trip, great food, great company and the scenery was magic”
Therese KogelmanNew Zealand