The Great Taste Trail is an off-road cycling route through the stunning New Zealand landscape provided by The Gentle Cycling Company. The trail offers a unique experience for foodies, wine lovers, and art enthusiasts, passing through wineries and scenic areas. It has two main sections - the inland Rail Route and the coastal trail. Part of the NZ Cycle Trails Project, the trail opened in 2012 and quickly became popular. It's a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the best of New Zealand's beauty and culinary delights.
Before you go:
Detailed Trail Description
The Great Taste Trail is a 200-km trail, but there is no need to cycle all of them. You can choose a tour that is tailored to your preferences and time constraints.
- The trail features multiple tour options to fit any itinerary, starting with the Coastal Classic, a minimum 3-day, 2-night tour that takes you along the coastal route of the trail from Waimea plains to the golden beach at Kaiteriteri. This family-friendly tour includes plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the many wonders of the trail, such as beaches, vineyards, boardwalks, galleries, funky cafes, and craft breweries.
- The Plains and Coast tour is a minimum 4-day, 3-night tour that includes virtually all of the off-road Great Taste Trail, including the Spooners Tunnel and all of the coastal route of the Coastal Classic. This popular off-road tour option begins with a shuttle up into the hills above Nelson, enabling you to follow the historic rail route and cycle through the iconic Spooners Tunnel and along the coast to Kaiteriteril.
- Loop the Loop: Are you looking to ride the whole 200km Great Taste Trail loop and experience the wide diversity of landscapes and experiences available in Nelson / Tasman? This bike tour is the full package, ensuring you get to visit all the best cafes, restaurants, cellar doors and craft breweries along the way. Cycle through lush rural heritage landscapes; experience views of across hop gardens to the mountains; ride a gentle river valley beside one of the best trout fishing rivers in NZ; relax at an eco-resort at the magical Kaiteriteri beach; cruise into the Abel Tasman and experience the National Park; take a ferry built for bikes – all this in and more in 4 or more action packed days.
- The Luxury Cycle and Sail tour is a 7-day, 6-night tour that takes you on a personalized tour along the Great Taste Trail and into the 'Tuscany of New Zealand' before returning on a luxury yacht, exploring the Abel Tasman National Park in decadent style.
- For those who want a taste of the Great Taste Trail in a single day, the Spooner's Tunnel Tour is a marvelous day ride that takes you on a downhill adventure through forest, farms, and along a meandering river.
- The Great Taste Wine Tour is another option that allows you to ride to pretty wineries to sample wines and fantastic landscapes by E-bike.
- The Great Taste Beer Tour offers two options: a 16km off-road circuit or a longer route that takes you into town. Both include a beer paddle-tasting experience and shuttles to and from your accommodation.
No matter what tour you choose, the Great Taste Trail promises an unforgettable experience filled with breathtaking scenery, delicious food, and refreshing drinks.
Additional Trail Features
- Over 30 E-bikes are available, with both step-through and mountain bike styles
- Sustainable and environmentally conscious business practices, including carbon offsetting, waste minimization, and donation of older bikes to charity
- Can accommodate families and larger groups thanks to our two vans and trailer options.
- Tours cater mainly to couples and groups with a maximum size of 16 people and are designed for individuals aged 50+ with varying fitness levels.
Sights of Interest, Landscapes, Views
The trail offers plenty of views, depending on what tour you choose. You can discover anything from golden beaches to historical sights and towns to rolling hills and picturesque vineyards, as well as local artisanal food, fresh fruit, wineries, breweries, and diverse natural landscapes and wildlife.
Recommendations and Precautions
- Take advantage of the self-guided tour option to go at your own pace and explore the sights that interest you most.
- You can donate your older bike to a local charity that provides cycling opportunities to underprivileged individuals in our community.
- Consider staying at the eco retreat at Kimiora for a unique and sustainable accommodation experience.
- Be aware that the trail has some hills and on-road sections, so make sure you're comfortable with these types of terrain before embarking on the trail.