Tasman’s Great Taste Trail

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Cycleway Category: Official NZ Cycling TrailCycleway Tags: Easy Cycling Trail, Grade 2, Grade 3, and Intermediate

  • Tasman’s Great Taste Trail starts from Nelson Airport or Nelson i-SITE and offers panoramic coastal views over Tasman Bay, Waimea Estuary and the Western Ranges.

    Riders pass over boardwalks along the edge of the Waimea Estuary, home to a range of internationally significant bird species, including the white heron and royal spoonbill.

    From here the trail crosses to Rabbit Island, where riders can take the Mapua Ferry to Mapua Wharf and enjoy cottage industry shops, cafés and restaurants.

    From Mapua the route leads via Tasman and Harley Rd to Motueka, which hosts award-winning wineries, then on to Kaiteriteri, the gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park.

    The Motueka Valley section of the trail from Riwaka goes to Woodstock on country roads along the Motueka River’s west bank. The picturesque landscape is one of rivers and rolling hills with a gorgeous backdrop of forest and mountains.

    From Woodstock, a Grade 3 route heads over Dovedale hill to Wakefield on a hilly country road. This route is temporary and will be replaced with a flatter route via Tapawera and Kohatu Junction.

    From Wakefield, Tasman’s Great Taste Trail returns to Nelson on purpose-built cycle paths and lanes, taking riders past vineyards and cafés, with various accommodation options.

    The full loop is currently 165km.


    Known for its aromatic smoked seafood, Mapua is an essential stop for any food-lover. The waterfront cafés and fi ne-dining restaurants offer superb views to complement the great cuisine.


    The Abel Tasman may be New Zealand’s smallest national park (22,530ha), but it’s big on exquisite natural features. When you’re unwinding on a stretch of golden sand here you could be forgiven for thinking you’re on a tropical island.

    You can spend your days exploring the beautiful bays and coves by yourself or with a guide. You can also charter a yacht, swim with seals, paddle a sea kayak or go skydiving here.

    Water taxis to the park are available from Kaiteriteri and Marahau. Road access is via Kaiteriteri and then Marahau.

    Be Prepared

    MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Available throughout the trail.

    DRINKING WATER: Water may be purchased at dairies and supermarkets at each township along the trail. Some drinking water is also available at reserves such as on Rabbit Island. The longest distance without water supply is from Richmond to Rabbit Island (15km).

    Weather Info

    The Nelson Tasman region is blessed with a mild mediterranean climate and often boasts the highest annual sunshine hours in New Zealand – perfect for exploring the region’s cycle trails! Even in winter the region enjoys many clear sunny days for riding.

    During summer (December to February) temperatures vary from 13 ̊ C to 22 ̊ C
    During winter (June to August) temperatures vary from 3 ̊ C to 13 ̊ C
    January and February are the hottest months of the year and July is generally the coldest

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