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Great Taste Trail Highlights


More Tasty Highlights On The Great Taste Trail

Looking for the best places to eat while out on The Great Taste Trail? Then you have come to the right place – read on for our top 14 eateries not to miss!

1. Moutere Inn

Located in the village of Upper Moutere, the Moutere Inn is famous for being New Zealand’s oldest pub still in its original building – it was first established in 1850! The pub has a long established reputation for providing a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere for both the local community and visitors from afar. A focus on hospitality, smiling faces, craft beers and generous portions or quality food are what makes the Moutere Inn stand out from the rest! The Inn is open from around midday until 9 or 10 pm Wednesday through to Sunday .

The village of Upper Moutere was settled in the early 1840s by German immigrants who brought both hop plants and grape vines with them and established some of the very first wineries in New Zealand in the area. The original Moutere Inn was built by Cordt Bensemann in 1850. Today the Moutere Inn is owned and operated by Dave Watson and Andrew Cole who have returned the pub to its traditional roots. The Moutere Inn is a great country pub that not only serves outstanding beer and wine. But also serves as a hospitality hub in the small village.

2. Peckham’s Cidery And Orchard

Located on Neudorf Road, Peckham’s Cidery and Orchard are well know for producing some of this countries best apple cider. It is important to note the property is not open to the public, there is no cellar door option but Peckham’s Ciders are widely available online from their website and also throughout the region including at the Moutere Inn which is the closest pub to their orchard.

Alex and Caroline Peckham are some of the founding members who had a hand in establishing Nelson as the centre of cider making in New Zealand. They specialise in brewing handcrafted rare and special ciders at their rural property just out of Moutere. Along with growing their own apples they have a full cider production facility on site so control every aspect of producing their wonderful products. 

3. Moutere Hills Restaurant And Cellar Door

Just a few beautiful cycling minutes from the Upper Moutere village on Eggers Road you will find the Moutere Hills Restaurant and Cellar Door. A delightful garden setting that oozes relaxation, food and fine wine awaits. This winery may be small, but the quality of their wines is outstanding. They have delicious food for you to enjoy while relaxing in the expansive vineyard dining environment. On Friday evenings they also open the Fox ‘n’ Grapes wine bar from 6 pm until late. An adjoining hops barn that has been converted into an inviting indoor venue that is warm and welcoming making it the perfect Friday night vineyard dining spot.

Current owners Rusty Rayne and Lisa Goodson have owned the winery since 2012 and have set about resurrecting the vineyard and rebuilding the restaurant side of the business. Forsters Moutere Hills restaurant immerged as the destination dining spot for many locals and visitors alike. The restaurant and cellar door is open Wednesday through to Sunday 11am until 4pm with a late night for the wine bar on Fridays.

4. River Haven Restaurant And Cafe

Focused upon reawakening the spirit of community in and around Ngatimoti in the Motueka Valley, the River Haven complex focuses on respecting personal freedom, supporting individual and group projects, promoting local businesses and protecting the unique Motueka Valley natural environment. Featuring a wide range of contemporary New Zealand cuisine the River Haven Restaurant offers a memorable fine dining experience with a focus on locally produced ingredients. The cafe at River Haven is a great place to stop for a coffee and snack while out on the trail with plenty of outdoor seating.

River Haven Cafe is open weekdays from 9am to 2pm, weekends: 9am to 3pm. The restaurant is open Thursday – Monday 11.30am to 4pm for lunch and Friday – Saturday 5.30pm to 9pm for dinner. The River Haven complex is also available for events and weddings.

5. Little Dynamite Food And Coffee

Situated in Riwaka, right on the Great Taste Trail, this café is a real favourite for many. Formerly sited just down the road in the little village of Riwaka, this cafe has literally risen from the flames. The building in which Little Dynamite was originally housed, was destroyed by fire some time ago, forcing the close knit team to find a new home. Happily, Brad’s creativity and energy got the business up and running fairly quickly – now homed in a bright red container just down the road!

Enjoy the fabulous cakes, pastries, pies and more which are the signature dishes – Ginger Pop is also a signature product – and very good it is too! Little Dynamite sits next door to an orchard stall selling real fruit ice creams and the Hop Federation Brewery is right across the road. – there definitely is something for everyone here!

6. Townshend Brewery

Having relocated from Moutere to a brand-new brewery premises in Motueka (just behind Toad Hall) the Townshend Brewery is a family friendly micro-brewery the perfect compliment to the great atmosphere at the Toad Hall café in Motueka. Essentially the Townshend Brewery is a unique and exciting entertainment venue and garden bar where Toad Hall’s excellent food and service is backed up by the weird and wonderful craft beer range. A great outdoor area and massive deck between the two buildings really complements the connection between them.

Enjoy looking into the brewery and see beer being made, engaging more with the brewing experience in a family-oriented way while sampling delicious cafe style food. Opening hours do vary so check website to plan ahead. Townshend Brewery is not only part of a popular tourist destination, but also part of a great network of craft brewers in the region.

7. TOAD Hall Cafe

Situated in an old church with quite a history, TOAD Hall Café is located at the southern end of Motueka on High Street. TOAD Hall has become a popular meeting place for friends to enjoy coffee and great food. Famous for its Real Fruit Ice Creams, TOAD Hall also offers gelatos and sorbets plus a couple of vegan icecream options long with their delicious café fare, juices, smoothies and more!

Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere complete with garden setting and warm fire for those chillier days. TOAD Hall is open 7 days a week from 8am to 4pm. Book a table online to avoid disappointment – this place is packed don’t he weekends!

8. Hop Federation

Just a quick detour from the Great Taste Trail you will find the Hop Federation craft brewery. Experts in producing small batches of seasonal beers, the Hop Federation beer is so popular its regularly found in local and New Zealand wide bars and restaurants and tourism businesses. Pop in and enjoy a quick tasting in the Taproom (open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday only). You will find the Hop Federation on Riwaka’s Main Road, or see here for New Zealand wide stockists.

Hope Federation beers come with dash of sense of humour on the side with beer labels including “Server Not Found XPA” and Green Limousine” along with all the usual favourites; Lager, Pilsner, Pale Ale, and Stout.

9. The Smoking Barrel

Located in the township of Motueka on the Great Taste Trail Coastal Route, the Smoking Barrel offers up a delectable menu complete with slow barbecue smoked meats and seafood, plus a huge range of disgustingly delicious donuts. In fact the fresh, handcrafted donuts that have made The Smoking Barrel almost world famous! Plenty of people from all around the region make the drive to Motueka just to get their hands on those donuts.

The Smoking Barrel opened in the former Hot Mamas premises on High Street, Motueka in the Winter of 2016. Husband and wife team, Josiah and Rachel Smits bring a huge amount of experience to the business. The menu incorporates traditional American low and slow barbecue smoked meats and seafood with bold, punchy and fresh flavours. The meat is lovingly and carefully smoked for 12 -14 hours in total. The Smoking Barrel is open Thursday through to Sunday, dine in or takeaway.

10. Rimu Wine Bar

The Rimu Wine Bar is located on the old wharf in Mapua, on the Great Taste Trail Coastal Route.  Every winery in the Nelson region is family owned and it is the heart and soul that these people pour into their wines that makes them special. The fact they taste great too helps! A firm favourite for Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines, the Rimu Grove Wines and Rimu Wine Bar owners have an uncanny ability to put risk aside when it comes to harvesting his grapes and ignores Mother Nature, instead using experience and technology to aid in harvesting decisions, picking based on flavour in the fruit rather than technical results.

Rimu Wine Bar is more than a tasting room for the winery’s own wines, there is also like a big selection of regional wines. Also, Nelson made spirits alongside some single malt Scotch Whiskies. The Rimu Wine Bar is an exciting asset to the wonderful development undertaken by Tasman District Council at the Mapua Wharf. Opening hours are 12 to 9 om every day of the week.

11. Mapua Country Store

The Mapua Country Store is exactly what the name says. They have a wide range of products that are grown and produced in the region. Local producers support them with in-store tastings every second week on Friday or Saturday depending on the producer. In the chillers at Mapua Country Store, producers like Neudorf Olives, Neudorf Mushrooms, Chia sisters drinks, Yum granola, to name but a few. 

A big focus for the business is fresh produce, with owner Tim at the markets every morning buying direct from local growers where possible. Offering locals great variety right on their doorstep. While the focus may be on fresh produce, Mapua Country Store is gradually being expanded as demand is identified. But the focus will always be on wonderful fresh produce and products. They have the award-winning local pies made by Little Dynamite in Riwaka with flavours like satay pumpkin, steak & brown ale, chilli beef and chicken & bacon. All made fresh and delivered regularly. Sweet treats and Villy’s famous Spanakopita, their own homemade soup with flavours that change daily. Salads to take away are all made in house fresh every day and with love.

12. Jellyfish Restaurant & Bar

Located in the coastal village of Mapua, right on the Great Taste Trail, the owners of Jellyfish have built on the theme of a seaside place to dine while enjoying the birdlife and changing tides. Sitting on the expansive deck at Jellyfish Restaurant with views across the wharf and down the estuary to the open sea, is arguably the best waterside dining in the region.

White painted ceilings and beams have given the interior an open feel, the carpet is made from recycled fishing nets recovered from sea trash by small fishing villages in the Philippines while cleaning up their beaches and waters of discarded fishing nets – it is another link to the sea. The Jellyfish waterfront restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner 9am until late, book ahead to avoid disappointment.

13. Wangapeka Cheese

The Trafford family sell their Wangapeka Cheeses from their store which is located close to the Great Taste Trail Rail Route at Appleby. Wangapeka Family Dairy is a business built on a few key principles. Firstly, it is a family-owned business producing an artisan product using a big business attitude. Secondly, it is a business that can ensure the true quality of the product from the pasture to the plate. The third key is a desire to help change the way we think about food production and quality. And finally it is a business with a real help-your-community ethos.

Karen and Daryl Trafford are both from dairy, sheep and beef farming backgrounds. They had been milking about 600 cows on their farm when they were asked to provide fresh milk for a cheese-making course and the rest is history! Wangapeka Family Dairy products are foods produced with integrity, they are foods you can trust and are foods that also just happen to have wonderful flavours! They have also won many awards and accolades.

14. Stoke Brewery

Located in the same premises as McCashins, the Stoke Brewery is part of the McCashin family heritage. With a strong history of creating boutique beers and ciders The Stoke Brewery likes to give customers options for their various drinking palettes. The McCashin brewing story started way back in about 1980. A time when beer making and selling was totally dominated by two corporate brewers, Lion and DB. The concept of boutique craft beers hadn’t even begun to ferment. 

Then along came Terry McCashin who thought two corporates controlling the brewing industry wasn’t the best thing for consumers. He thought we should have more choice. So he took over the old Rochdale Cider factory in Stoke and set about creating credible competition for the big players. It took a while and lots of hard work and long hours, but he did what he set out to do, changing the face of the beer industry in New Zealand. You will find the McCashin’s Brewery located on the Main Road in Stoke, with brewery tours available along with Taproom tastings too.

Keen on a exploring the idea of a Great Taste Beer cycle tour to visit some of Nelson’s oldest, newest and best breweries? Get in touch with the team at the Gentle Cycling Company for more information.

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