Explore the top of the South Island in all its glory!
Bike tour Marlborough as part of this wonderful guided trip
You'll stay in this pristine part of the world for a few days and explore by foot and by water
Enjoy some coastal riding along much of the journey
Spend some time discovering this beautiful spot
As part of the trip, you'll visit some wineries and enjoy the local produce
Find your sea legs and view the land from a different perspective

Great Taste Trail & Beyond - Bike, Hike & Sail

Duration
7 days
Site savings
$25
From
$2,376 USD

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 you 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.

  • Category
    Multi-Activity
  • Type
    Fully Guided
  • Duration
    7 days
  • Culture Level
    Familiar
  • Skill Level
    2 - Novice
  • Activity Level
    2 - Moderate
  • Elevation
    2 - Moderate
  • Terrain
    Coastal
  • Distance
    153.5 miles
  • Avg. Daily Distance
    30.4 miles
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Quick Stats

  • Duration
    7 days
  • Main Destination
    South Island
  • Distance
    153.5 miles
  • Avg. Daily Distance
    30.4 miles
  • Elevation
    2 - Moderate
  • Terrain
    Coastal

Itinerary Details

  1. Day 1Meet in Nelson, Cycle Great Taste Trail Richmond to Tapawera

    Welcome to Nelson, the “sunshine capital” of the South Island of New Zealand, where you'll meet at 8:00am. You'll then drive to Richmond for a briefing and bike fit and set out on your first ride along the Great Taste Trail. You'll start riding through the Waimea Estates vineyard and along the Waimea River, through Brightwater to Wakefield village then meet the Wai-iti Riverbank, and on through the Domain to Belgrove where you 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. You'll 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. You'll load up the bikes and then drive back to your accommodation in Nelson. In the early evening, you are free to explore the town before meeting for the first evening meal together.

    • 31.7 miles
    • Nelson Accommodation
    • Lunch and Dinner
  2. Day 2Cycle Great Taste Trail Tapawera to Riwaka over Baton Saddle

    You'll transfer to Tapawera to start cycling where you finished yesterday. Today's ride takes you on a new section of the Great Taste Trail, gently climbing 120m over the Baton Saddle to Woodstock. From the high point you'll 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. You'll 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. You'll end the ride with a visit to the Riwaka River Estate Winery for a late afternoon tasting. You'll then load up the bikes and drive to Motueka and your home for the next 2 nights. For those who still have some energy, they can cycle 8km from the winery to the accommodation in Motueka.

    • 39.1 miles
    • Accommodation in Motueka
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  3. Day 3Abel Tasman National Park Hike & Sail, return to Motueka

    This morning you'll drive to Marahau and the start of the famous Abel Tasman track. You will rest your 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, you will have lunch overlooking Torrent Bay and then board a catamaran for an exciting sail around the heads. To round out a wonderful day, you'll 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

    • Accommodation in Motueka
    • Breakfast and Lunch
  4. Day 4Great Taste Trail Motueka to Nelson, overnight in Lochmara Lodge

    After breakfast, you'll leave from Motueka to rejoin the Great Taste Trail. Starting 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 you'll ride through more apple orchards and vineyards, passing galleries and artist studios, then along the Ruby Coast into Mapua where you can have refreshments in one of the waterfront cafes. You'll 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, you'll load up the bikes and head for lunch.

    In the afternoon you'll leave 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 the water taxi awaits. You'll travel on to Lochmara Lodge, a remote oceanfront resort nestled in the Queen Charlotte Sound, accessible only by boat, kayak or foot.

    • 28 miles
    • Lochmara Lodge resort
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  5. Day 5Lochmara Lodge free day

    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!

    • Lochmara Lodge Resort
    • Breakfast
  6. Day 6Queen Charlotte Track to Anakiwa then cycle to Picton

    After breakfast, you'll sadly leave lovely Lochmara behind. You'll put on your walking shoes and take a water taxi to Mistletoe Bay and set out to hike along the Queen Charlotte track. You'll climb up to the low Te Mahia Saddle and the path weaves in and out of Manuka Bush with glimpses of the vivid blue sea, secluded bays and bush clad shorelines below. You'll climb to a headland at the end of Ohahau Bay and be greeted with panoramic views up and down the Sound. You'll descend through mature beech forest to Umungata (Davies Bay), and soon after arrive at the little village of Anakiwa where you'll enjoy a picnic lunch on the beach.

    This afternoon you'll hop back on the bikes to ride the scenic Queen Charlotte Drive to Picton. The road hugs the shores of the Queen Charlotte Sound and gives splendid sea views. You'll then drive to Blenheim, world renowned for its Sauvignon Blanc wine and check into an historic art deco hotel. You will meet again in the evening for the final meal together to celebrate your week's active adventure.

    Hiking Distance: 12km, approx 3-4 hours walking

    Cycling Distance: Anakiwa to Picton - 23km

    • 14.3 miles
    • Blenheim hotel
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  7. Day 7Whale Trail Blenheim to Seddon, cycle back to Blenheim

    Today you will ride a section of the new Whale Trail that will eventually travel between Picton and Kaikoura, and 2 picturesque passes. Riding south out of Blenheim you'll follow a designated cycle track to the Redwood Pass Road. You'll gradually climb through vineyards and rolling farm country, with the barren tussock hills providing a contrasting backdrop. You will reach Redwood Pass and have a nice downhill to the Awatere Valley which is lined with vineyards in all directions. You'll then continue up the valley following the river, the large Kaikoura Ranges and Mt Tapuae-o-uenuku dominate the skyline ahead. Crossing the second pass, Taylors Pass takes you through another remote valley to bring you back to Blenheim. At Taylors Dam, you'll 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. You will arrive back into Blenheim in the early evening where you will be delivered to the town centre.

    • 40.4 miles
    • Breakfast and Lunch