2
Introductory to Moderate
Activities
  • 4 days guided cycle
  • 3 days guided walk
Accommodation
  • 6 nights hotel/motel
  • 2 nights lodge
Meals
  • 4 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • 8 Breakfasts

9 Days$4795NZD

Trip Code: SOG8554

Trip highlights


  • Ride the Great Taste Cycle Trail along a mix of coastal and rural cycle trails or roads
  • Spend 2 nights at the secluded Lochmara Lodge nestled in the Marlborough Sounds
  • Experience the stunning Abel Tasman National Park coastline on a sailing excursion
  • Admire the golden sandy beaches and blue sea as we walk part of the Abel Tasman track
  • Hike a section of the beautiful Queen Charlotte track from Mistletoe Bay to Anakiwa
  • Savor local Tasman produce at wineries, breweries and orchards
  • Kaikoura Peninsula coastal walk

Explore the best of Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough at the top of the South Island on the ultimate bike, walk and sailing holiday. This region is famed for its stunning natural landscapes, with long golden beaches, untouched forests and rugged mountains, it also boasts being the sunniest part of the country. Cycle along Nelson’s Great Taste Trail, sail a catamaran in the famous Abel Tasman National Park and walk through lush native forest on the Queen Charlotte track. Discover the magic of the Marlborough Sounds as we spend 2 nights at a remote oceanfront lodge, accessed only by boat, kayak or foot. Visit galleries, craft breweries, boutique stores and wineries in a region renowned for its creative artisan culture.

Our journey begins in Nelson where we join the Great Taste Trail, cycling along flat or gently rolling terrain, through a disused railway tunnel and along coastal tracks towards the sandy beaches of the Abel Tasman. We then visit the breathtaking Marlborough Sounds where we enjoy a day relaxing at the lodge before a hike and bike ride leads us into the heart of wine making country. Our final ride takes us through the colourful vineyards of the Awatere Valley and we cycle over two passes before a wine tasting at a Blenheim winery. The Kaikoura Peninsula coastal walk provides a fitting finale to this memorable outdoor adventure.


Welcome to Nelson, the “sunshine capital” of the South Island of New Zealand. The Airport is located about 8km from Nelson City centre, you have several transportation options to reach your destination. Taxis are available outside the terminal building as well as Shuttle and bus services. Upon checking into The Tides Hotel in Nelson, you can enjoy some free time exploring the city. Head to the Nelson Market to browse through local crafts, produce, and artisan goods. It's a great place to pick up souvenirs or gifts. Take a stroll through Founders Heritage Park to learn about Nelson's history. This living museum showcases historic buildings, exhibits, and gardens. Discover the region's rich cultural and natural heritage at the Nelson Provincial Museum. Explore exhibits on Maori history, European settlement, and local wildlife. Take a peaceful walk through Queens Gardens, a beautiful Victorian-style garden in the heart of Nelson. Nelson boasts a vibrant food scene, with plenty of cafes, restaurants, and eateries to choose from.

Meals:  Nil

After breakfast taken at your hotel we meet at 8:00am at The Tides Hotel Nelson. We drive to Monaco Point for a briefing and bike fit and set out on our first ride along the Great Taste Trail. We set away riding along the waters edge, through the Waimea Estates vineyard and along the Waimea River, through Brightwater to Wakefield village. We meet the Wai-iti Riverbank, and on through the Domain to Belgrove where we can see a historic railway windmill, one of only two left in New Zealand. The trail then winds its way through bush up to the entrance of the historic Spooners Tunnel. Riding through Spooners Tunnel is a highlight. It is a 1.4km long rail tunnel, the longest decommissioned tunnel in the Southern Hemisphere. We continue on to pass through Kohatu and then enjoy views across hop plantations and farmland to Mt Arthur/ Wharepapa, before a gradual descent to Tapawera. We load up the bikes and then drive back to our accommodation in Nelson. In the early evening you are free to explore the town before meeting for our first evening meal together. Cycling Distance: Monaco to Tapawera - 61km

Meals:  B,L,D

We transfer to Tapawera to start cycling where we finished yesterday. Today's ride takes us on a new outback section of Great Taste Trail, gently climbing 120m over the Baton Saddle to Woodstock. From the high point we descend into the pretty Baton River Valley after crossing a new purpose built cyclists swing bridge. This part of the cycle trail follows a gravel road open to farm vehicles, tankers and logging trucks and is the most challenging part of the trail, but it is not technical. We then continue on the road along the west bank of the Motueka River to Riwaka, passing through vineyards, kiwifruit orchards and hops farms along the way. We end our ride with a visit to the Riwaka River Estate Winery for a late afternoon tasting. We then load up the bikes and drive to Motueka and our home for the next 2 nights. For those who still have some energy, they can cycle 8km from the winery to our accommodation in Motueka. Cycling Distance: Tapawera to Riwaka - 63km

Meals:  B,L,D

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. Walking Distance: 12.5km Sailing: 3 hours

Meals:  B,L

After breakfast we set away from Motueka to rejoin the Great Taste Trail. We start with a climb through vineyards to the top of Tasman View Road, aptly named giving panoramic views across the Tasman Bay and Mt Arthur Range. Following an easy descent we ride through more apple orchards and vineyards, passing galleries and artist studios, then along the Ruby Coast into Mapua where we can have refreshments in one of the waterfront cafes. We take a short ferry journey to Rabbit Island and ride through the pine forest. Back on the mainland, the trail skirts around the shore of the Waimea Inlet, the largest enclosed estuary in the South Island and home to many wading and sea birds. Bird spotting is best when the tide is out. On reaching Richmond, we load up the bikes and head for lunch. In the afternoon we set away for the Marlborough Sounds leaving Nelson and the Great Taste Trail behind. It is a scenic 2 hour drive crossing the ranges, via Pelorous Bridge to reach Anakiwa where our water taxi awaits. We travel on to Lochmara Lodge, a remote oceanfront resort nestled in the Queen Charlotte Sound, accessible only by boat, kayak or foot. Cycling Distance: Motueka to Richmond - 45km

Meals:  B,L,D

Today is your guide's rest day and you are free to explore the beautiful surrounds of Lochmara Lodge. Take out a kayak or paddleboard, swim, walk the bush tracks around the property, relax in one of the many hammocks, visit the Underwater Observatory (own expense) or the art exhibition spaces. When it is dark, make sure to explore the glowworm grotto!

Meals:  B

After breakfast we sadly leave lovely Lochmara behind. We put on our walking shoes and take a water taxi to Mistletoe Bay and set out to hike along the Queen Charlotte track. We climb up to the low Te Mahia Saddle and our path weaves in and out of Manuka Bush with glimpses of the vivid blue sea, secluded bays and bush clad shorelines below. We climb to a headland at the end of Ohahau Bay and are greeted by panoramic views up and down the Sound. We descend through mature beech forest to Umungata (Davies Bay), and soon after arrive at the little village of Anakiwa where the track ends. This afternoon we drive the scenic Queen Charlotte Drive, which hugs the shores of the Queen Charlotte Sound giving splendid sea views. Heading inland to Blenheim, there is an option to hop back on our bikes to ride a short section of the new whale trail from Tuamarina. We finishing our day at the Moa brewery, where it's time to relax in a bean bag and perhaps enjoy an awarding winning craft beer. Our accommodation for the next 2 nights is a historic art deco Hotel d’Urville and where you are free to make our own dinner arrangements. Hiking Distance: 12km, approx 4 hours walking Optional Cycling Distance: Tuamarina to Moa Brewery - 10km

Meals:  B,L

Today sees us riding a section of the new Whale Trail that will eventually travel between Picton and Kaikoura, and 2 picturesque passes. Riding south out of Blenheim we follow a designated cycle track to the Redwood Pass Road. We gradually climb through vineyards and rolling farm country, with the barren tussock hills providing a contrasting backdrop. We reach Redwood Pass and have a nice downhill to the Awatere Valley which is lined with vineyards in all directions. We continue up the valley following the river, the large Kaikoura Ranges and Mt Tapuae-o-uenuku dominate the skyline ahead. Crossing our second pass, Taylors Pass takes us through another remote valley to bring us back to Blenheim. At Taylors Dam we load up the bikes and head to a local vineyard to sample a selection of their wines making a fitting end to the cycle tour. We will arrive back into Blenheim in the early evening where we'll enjoy our final meal together to celebrate our week's active adventure. Cycling Distance - up to 65km

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we head south, travelling back to the coast where mountains meet the ocean - our scenic 2 hour drive takes us to the Kaikoura Peninsula, we are rewarded with dramatic views of mountains and sea, where we can spot seals and seabirds. Here we get the chance to stretch our legs on the stunning Kaikoura Peninsula coastal walk for impressive views of rugged cliff formations, tidal platforms and the Seaward Kaikoura Range. We continue driving 2.5 hours south through the Waipara Valley wine region – home of international award winning Pinot Noir, Riesling and Chardonnay wines. Late afternoon we return to Christchurch and drop you off in central Christchurch around 6pm and where we say goodbye. Hiking Distance: Kaikoura Peninsula Walk - 4km

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • Tasty café breakfasts (x8), gourmet picnic or café lunches (x6), 2 course restaurant dinners (x4) catered to all dietary requirements
  • 6 nights hotel/motel ensuite accommodation on twin share basis
  • 2 nights at the secluded Lochmara Lodge in Queen Charlotte Sound ensuite accommodation on twin share basis
  • Experienced guides who handle all the hard bits and share epic stories (2 guides on groups of 8 or more)
  • Full vehicle support along the trail including trailer for luggage
  • 3 hour sailing excursion in the Abel Tasman National Park including lunch
  • Ferry crossing from Rabbit Island to Mapua
  • Wine tasting at boutique Riwaka & Blenheim wineries
  • Return water taxi to Lochmara Lodge
  • Tasty nutritious snacks, drinks and treats plus our famous morning and afternoon teas
  • Access and concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation
  • Queen Charlotte Land Cooperative Track Pass
  • Pre departure information kit to help you plan and prepare

  • International or domestic flights and taxes
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • All beverages, other than breakfast
  • Bike hire (including helmet)
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own bike drink bottle)
  • Optional activities (eg. underwater observatory at Lochmara Lodge)
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)

About Your Leader

Our guides are one of our biggest assets and we pride ourselves on their level of quality and high standards. Once the trip reaches 8 people, we provide you with two of our expert guides to maximise your enjoyment and overall experience. You’ll know you’re in safe hands as all of our guides are certified in first aid and CPR and many of them are trained bike mechanics. They come from all walks of life but our guides have a common desire to give you the best possible experience, fun and lots of fond memories to take home with you.


Accommodation


Bike information


Trail Surface


Grading

Introductory to Moderate  
2

This tour is graded introductory to moderate, you will mainly be cycling on quiet rural roads & easy dedicated cycle paths, and walking on well formed trails of an introductory level. There is one section over the Baton Saddle to the Baton River Valley, and another over the Redwood Pass that is moderate as it involves a climb and novice riders can ride in the support vehicle. You will need a reasonable level of fitness and we suggest 2-3 hours of aerobic type exercise, (either cycling or hiking) twice per week for the three months leading up to your trip. You will need to be able to walk for 3-4 hours at a time on undulating paths. We recommend training on compacted gravel trails, and completing a multi-day ride prior to your trip to get used to being in the saddle for long periods of time.


Departure dates


Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Priceper person from

$4795NZD

Options & Supplements*
  • eBike RentalNZD$600
  • Bike RentalNZD$180
*Prices listed are per person

Essential information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Clare Dyer & friends - Great Taste Trail & Beyond, Bike, Hike & Sail trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


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