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Great Taste Trail & Abel Tasman National Park – Hub-and-Spoke

Abel Tasman National Park in the north of New Zealand’s South Island is renowned for its golden beaches, sculptured granite cliffs, and its world-famous coast track. The Great Taste Trail is a terrific way to tour the attractions of this popular holiday destination.

This is a highly-customizable hub-and-spoke type tour, heading out and back on different cycling routes each day to return to the same location in the evening.

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Abel Tasman National Park in the north of New Zealand’s South Island is renowned for its golden beaches, sculptured granite cliffs, and its world-famous coast track. The Great Taste Trail is a terrific way to tour the attractions of this popular holiday destination.

Its mix of rural, urban, coastal and riverside scenery is a fabulous feast for the eyes. Natural beauty, however, is only part of the appeal, with this trail serving up a tantalising array of tasty attractions – from art galleries and boutique shopping, to fruit stalls, cafes, craft beer pubs and winery restaurants.

The village of Mapua is on the Great Taste Trail and it offers several great coffee options, a craft brewery, wine bar with a huge selection of beers and wines, several good restaurants, a local craft beer pub. The pleasant wharf and village areas are all within short walking distances of your accommodation.

Additional days

We can offer suggestions for the best DAY options if you want to explore Abel Tasman National Park, with cruise, walk kayaking options all available.

You could also add a multi-day trip into the park (3 days 2nights are the best value), before or after the cycle tour. We can arrange a fully catered trip with ensuite lodge accommodation through our partnership with Wilsons Abel Tasman 

Departure and Arrival days

This could be a non cycling day with a transfer from Mapua to the airport and vice versa.

If previous cycle day finished at Nelson, then 15 min taxi to airport from central Nelson.

Nelson city is also worth exploring by foot for a day/half-day. It is an area known for produce, wine, craft beer and art.


An example itinerary:
  1. Mapua village – Cycle from central Nelson 35km, or airport 25km to Mapua via Rabbit Island  (Grade 1 mostly flat).  If day 1 is a Saturday, browse the Nelson market before you start your bike ride. Along the way cafes, a brewery and a winery are close to the trail as well as other possible places to explore including the and Nelson Collectable Car Museum. Before catching the little the ferry to Mapua, stop off by the long sandy beach of Rabbit Island and go for a swim. When you arrive at Mapua wharf you will instantly see many of the eateries and shops that make this a popular destination with locals and visitors alike. Your accommodation will be a short distance from here.
  2. Mapua village – Vehicle transfer to Kaiteriteri (43kms)or Riwaka ( 35kms), cycle back to Mapua. This is one of the most popular and diverse segments of the trail. Countryside and coastal sections get you to places that only cyclists will go. Several craft breweries, great coffee, and food options along the way. Our notes and maps will also help you find some local gems that you wouldn’t find directly on the trail. Grade 2 & two segments of Grade 3, 4km long and 2.5km long (The first one can be avoided if you start at Riwaka). The second grade 3 is not technical, just a bit rougher surface than the rest of the trail.
  3. Mapua village – Vehicle transfer to the start of your A to B route at the rural location of Dovedale. Cycle back to your accommodation in Mapua and explore the hidden gems of gravel back roads in the Moutere region (40kms). You could also include a stop or two at boutique award-wining wineries (including the most scenic winery in the Nelson region), craft beers (The Moutere Inn, NZ’s oldest pub) and studios of acclaimed artists. You could choose to have a later start to your day and cycle a loop from your accommodation to the village of Upper Moutere and return again to Mapua (up to 35 kms). Or relax and enjoy a day around the village of Mapua, relax at the wharf, browse through galleries, linger over a coffee, enjoy a gourmet ice cream, and just watch the tide go in or out.
  4. Mapua or Kaiteriteri – Vehicle transfer to Woodstock, follow the cycle trail to Riwaka (32km), where you will be transferred to your accommodation, or stay locally. This ride follows the majestic Motueka River in the Motueka valley, with Kahurangi National Park as the backdrop.
  5. Nelson – Vehicle transfer from your accommodation to Spooners Tunnel (1.4km decommissioned steam railway tunnel)  Cycle through the tunnel and follow the cycle trail back to Mapua (60kms). Stop off along the way the historical villages of Wakefield and Brightwater. Grades 1 & 2 from (mostly flat or downhill!).

Your Bike

The bikes for our New Zealand tours are comfort trail bikes and flat bar gravel adventure bikes. Included with bike hire are a helmet, pannier bag, spare inner tube kit, tour pack with route notes and maps specific to your tour, discount vouchers for local cafes and wine bars and a premium goody welcome bag.

The trail bike offers a more upright riding position and provides a comfortable ride. They are designed to cope equally well with road and trail surfaces.

Our gravel adventure bikes have a more sporty riding position, with narrower saddles.

The trail bikes are also available as electric bikes with top of the range pedal assist Bosch motors and long-lasting batteries.