The Great Taste Trail

Relaxing and scenic bike touring through the top of the South Island's beautiful and varied landscapes. Great accommodation options and lots of lovely local produce to sample along the way.

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Activity in brief

up to 160 km
1 - 4 days
Start - End:
Shuttle Bus, Ferry

Terrain: Easy, some on road sections. A little climbing required.

Accommodation: B&Bs, Motels

Nearest Town: Nelson, Kaiteriteri

Activity Overview

Looping through the Tasman Bay towns of Nelson, Richmond, Motueka and Wakefield the Great Taste Trail is a terrific way to tour the attractions of the Top of the South Island.

It's incredible range of scenery is a fabulous feast for the eyes: urban and arty Nelson, the tidal ebb and flow of the Waimea Estuary, stunning golden beaches in the Abel Tasman and rolling farmland and vineyards. Along the way you can take time to discover all manner of attractions – from art galleries and boutique shopping, to fruit stalls, cafes, craft beer pubs and winery restaurants.

The best part of the trail takes you from inland Kohatu through to Nelson and then continues along the coast to Kaiteriteri, but the trail can also be enjoyed in full over several days or just sample a section or two with a day ride. However you want to ride it, you're bound to enjoy every morsel of the Great Taste Trail - bon appetite!


Personalised Itineraries

Personalise your Great Taste Trail Ride:

If you want to develop your own personalised Great Taste Trail experience we will be happy to help you organise it. You may want some extra nights on the trail to give more time to enjoy all the wineries and orchards on the route or you may prefer to base yourself in Nelson and just complete a section or two (this is a great option if you're riding with younger children). 

We manage all the logistics for you including your preferred accomodation and transportation options.  

We'll also sort out bike hire too if required - standard or E-bike and even options for younger kids too. Fully guided options are also available.

Contact us to find out more!

Include the Great Taste Trail in your unique Multi-Activity Trip:

You can combine this ride with any other activity on this website to create your own unique itinerary.

When you develop your own tailor-made itinerary with us, it's fully customised with your choice of activities, accommodation and transport around New Zealand - Click here for more information about Multi-Activity Trips or Enquire Now to get started.

Or simply book this trip now...
Best Of The Great Taste Trail Four Day Ride
  • Includes three nights luxury ensuite accommodation plus breakfast - based on twin/double share.
  • Includes daily luggage transfers between accommodation.
  • Includes all of your transportation on the trail plus airport pick-up and drop-off if required.
  • Standard or E-Bike hire available.

Day One: Kohatu to Nelson (46.5km). Today starts with a shuttle transfer from Nelson to Kohatu, where the local cafe can fortify you before the start of your ride! The route is virtually all downhill today and there are cafes sited at regular intervals along the way. The first highlight is Spooners Tunnel: at 1,352 metres long, this tunnel is the oldest disused rail tunnel in the Southern Hemisphere. The tunnel is pitch black and is a constant 10deg so take your jumper and a torch. Emerging on the northern side, the rest of today’s ride is through an expansive, lush valley full of history, you will also be spoilt for choice for wineries along this section. You will finish back in Nelson and a well deserved rest at your accommodation.
Day Two: Nelson to Mapua (22km). As town gives way to countryside you join the coastal path and experience the coastal boardwalks of the Waimea Estuary and fertile farmland there, which is home to a range of internationally significant bird species including the White Heron, and cross the spectacular Waimea Swing Bridge. Rabbit Island is a great place for a break, a swim or a picnic, before catching the ferry to the Mapua Wharf where you can enjoy the buzzing atmosphere of galleries, studios, restaurants, cafes, shops, and the boutique Golden Bear Brewery. 

Day Three: Mapua to Kaiteriteri (43.5km). After breakfast it is on your bike again through Ruby Bay and a steady climb up to a spectacular 360 degree view of Tasman Bay and the ranges beyond. As you make your way around the amazing coastal trail of Motueka, you can enjoy the variety of bird species and gorgeous scenery. From the outskirts of Motueka, Kaiteriteri is approximately 12km’s away.  The short bike ride into Kaiteriteri takes in boardwalks and bridges through the farmland and orchards of Riwaka before entering stunning native beech forest, then on to your final nights' accommodation in Kaiteriteri.
Day Four: Kaiteriteri. Today is a free day where you can either explore the highly rated biking trails through the local native forest, take boat trip out to the stunning Abel Tasman National Park or just relax by the beautiful beach at this relaxed seaside village. The shuttle will return you to Nelson at your preferred time.


Pricing: Best Of The Great Taste Trail Four Day Ride

From NZD$1195 per person includes B&B accommodation, all transportation and daily luggage transfers.

Three Days Bike Hire: From NZD$250 for a standard touring bike OR from NZD$450 for an e-bike.

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Activity Planning

When to go

The Nelson–Tasman region is blessed with balmy summers and bright, mild winters, making for great riding at any time of year. Riders should, however, always check the forecast and pack clothing for all possibilities. A lack of shade along some parts the trail make sunscreen (and a sun hat when off the bike) essential in summer, and advisable the rest of the year, too.

What to bring

If bringing your own bike - Good quality mountain bike or e-bike with suspension and knobbly tires, helmet, spares etc.

Sneakers, light waterproof hiking shoes or biking shoes


Light waterproof jacket

Bidon (Water bottle)


Insect repellant

First-aid kit


Communication device


These are the accommodations* we will usually organise for you on this activity. Each are clean, well appointed, family friendly and have super welcoming hosts.


The Honest Lawyer

This unique establishment is an 'Olde Worlde' English Country Pub & Hotel situated on Nelson's Monaco Peninsula. Relax after your ride and relish a hearty meal in the restaurant and choose from an extensive range of wines and beers. The luxury ensuite accommodation is decorated in English Country style.

Mapua Wharfside Apartments

The Wharfside Apartments are ideally situated on the beautiful, scenic ,ever changing Waimea estuary by the wharf. Each apartment features seperate bedrooms, bathroom and living area with a private deck leading down to the water.

Kimi Ora Eco-Resort

Tucked away amongst the bush with panoramic views of Kaiteriteri beach, Kimi Ora chalets offer peace, seclusion and all the modern comforts.


*We cannot always guarantee accommodation will be available in these listed properties, especially during busy periods. If it's necessary to arrange alternative accommodation then we always endeavour to organise a similar quality option for you, and we always go through the details with you before you commit to your booking.


ACCOMMODATION IN the Tasman Region

We can organise your accommodation in the wider region for before and after your bike ride if you wish. Please let us know what sort of accommodation you are looking for when you make your booking for this activity, and we can discuss the options with you.


Nelson Airport pick-ups and drop-offs are included in your package if required. All shuttles out to the start of your ride and return from the end are also included 

If you are keen to personalise your ride on the Great Taste Trail, and want to start and finish in a location of your choosing, we can also arrange shuttles to get you around the region.

Mapua Ferry

This short ferry trip across the Waimea Estuary between Rabbit Island and Mapua is an essential part of the Great Taste Trail. 

Route Map
Get in touch

For more information about us or our services contact us on
+ 64 3 390 1584
or email us at [email protected]

Enquire Now