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Plains and Coast

4 Days: Typically: Tapawera - Wakefield - Mapua - Kaiteriteri - Nelson

This ride includes virtually all the off-road Great Taste Trail including the Spooners Tunnel - the bucket-list trip.

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, along rivers, through regenerating forest, vineyards and the historic towns of Wakefield and Brightwater. You’ll then head along the coastal section of the Great taste Trail with its many artisanal delights, ending your tour at the golden sands of sun drenched Kaiteriteri.

Quick Details:

DURATION: 4 days, but extra night in Mapua / Kaiteriteri recommended
DISTANCE COVERED: 112km
PRICE: From $1,245 dependent upon accommodation rates, season, duration and group size
SUITABLE FOR: People who want to experience a variety of landscapes, Spooner’s Railway Tunnel, historic towns and beautiful coastal trail
INCLUDES: Mixture of trails through a disused railway, forest, farms, vineyards and coast

*Winery tastings, brewery tour and guided options available

The Itinerary

Kohatu → Stoke → Mapua → Motueka → Kaiteriteri (114km)

Today starts with a shuttle transfer to Kohatu, where the cafe is a great place for a refreshment before the cycling trip begins. The route is virtually all downhill today and there are cafes sited at regular intervals along the way. The historic Spooners Tunnel is located 7km from Kohatu. The brick-lined tunnel is 1.4km long and completely dark, so lights are required. Emerging on the northern side, the rest of today’s ride is through an expansive, lush valley full of history. The villages of Wakefield and Brightwater both have some charming old buildings in the main street. The trail includes sections riding on the route of the original railway, plus riverside legs and hop garden views. The section between Brightwater and Stoke is home to several boutique, family-owned wineries and fresh fruit and veggies can be purchased at various stalls along the route. We recommend staying in Stoke or Richmond tonight for ease of navigation.

It’s a flat, easy riding day today. Before you depart, you may wish to visit Pics Peanut Butter factory (bookings are required for a free tour), the World of Wearablearts or McCashins Brewery, which are all located in Stoke. Once out on the Great Taste Trail Coastal Route it’s pleasant ride around the Waimea Estuary before heading towards Rabbit Island beach. This is a great place for a break, a swim or a picnic, before catching the ferry from Rabbit Island to the Mapua Wharf. The old wharf is a great place to relax at the end of the ride, with a great gallery, wine bar, brewery, and cafes.

ADD AN OPTION: Extra night in Mapua

We recommend you consider two nights in Mapua, allowing time enjoy this arty, foodie village. Take time to wander in the village, visiting the galleries, shops, wine bar, brewery and cafes. Or follow the locals to the estuary for a swim at high tide (or take your lead from the kids who prefer to jump off the wharf). There is plenty to fill a relaxing rest day here.

With two nights in Mapua, there is also time for an on-road day ride to the village of Upper Moutere. For those with an interest in art, wine or beer, this day in the Moutere area is a must.

Today you are riding from Mapua to Motueka. This intermediate grade leg has some hills but there are great views too. Leaving Mapua, the trail follows the coast before heading inland, with a steepish climb of approx. 1km up onto an elevated route above the coast. This is apple country, so look out for the orchard packing sheds and interesting little workers cottages tucked amongst the apple trees. Leaving the village of Tasman, expect a slow climb of around 3km up to the Moutere ridge. The next gravel section (4.5km) climbs and descends as you follow the ridge (elevation approximately 110m.) It’s not a long section so take it easy and enjoy the views. Approaching Motueka township, the trail passes Toad Hall Cafe & Townshend Brewery, a great place to relax with some food and beer under the big oak trees in the garden. The section of trail through Motueka avoids the town center and follows around the estuary waterfront, past gardens and grassy beach reserves. Motueka is bustling during the fruit-picking season and pretty sleepy the rest of the time.

It’s just a short ride to Kaiteriteri today and it’s flat – until the end. Following the wine cycling of previous days, today is “honesty box” cycling, so expect some fresh fruit (in season) including apples, pears, nashi, grapes, feijoas, citrus and melons. Leaving Motueka the trail heads to Riwaka, a cute little village which is home to a great cafe and a craft brewery, so plan to stop there! After Riwaka, there is a section that goes right through a kiwifruit orchard before the trail rejoins the coast. The trail then climbs and drops beside the road for a section before ducking into the Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park. This last section of 3.1km is intermediate grade and takes the Easy Rider Trail through the bike park. The surface here is smooth and it is not technical, but you might want to take it very gently as there are some tight corners and some riders prefer to walk. As the trail winds down through the bush and pine trees you will soon get your first glimpse of your destination – the stunning golden shores of Kaiteriteri Beach. The beach here is the departure point for boats travelling into the Abel Tasman National Park. All our We Love Nelson packages include packages include door-to-door return transport from Kaiteriteri, bringing you and your bikes back to Nelson.

ADD AN OPTION: Extra night in Kaiteriteri

Why not enjoy a relaxing stay in Kaiteriteri at the end of your trip. There is a range of accommodation in Kaiteriteri including an Eco Resort, with vegetarian restaurant, spa, massage and pool facilities.

ADD AN OPTION: Abel Tasman National Park Day

Staying the night in Kaiteriteri makes it easy to use the following day for a trip in the Abel Tasman National Park. In the morning, it’s an easy walk to the beachfront where your Park Day begins. Wilsons Abel Tasman offer a range of single day trips in the park (standard retail prices apply). For a flexible full day walking trip option, we recommend the Open Day Pass. There is also a range of full day kayak trips available. When we book your Park Day as part of your cycling trip, we will ensure your whole itinerary fits together seamlessly.

More Information

Personalised trip route notes with tasty places to visit (sent on receipt of full payment)

Door-to-door transport from Nelson / airport to our base on the first day

Personalised pre-ride briefing

Our exclusive Good Things Maps – topographic style maps

24 speed comfort trail bike, helmet, lock & toolkit (e-bike upgrade available at $50 per bike per day)

Accommodation for 3 nights (typically)

Mapua Ferry tickets

Daily luggage transfers (by 3pm)

Bad weather and emergency support

Passenger and bike transfer, Kaiteriteri to Nelson on the final day

Door-to-door transport from our base to Nelson / airport on the final day

Prices are $NZD and include GST of 15%

Please view our terms & conditions at https://www.gentlecycling.co.nz/terms-and-conditions

Our self-guided package price includes accommodation and we have been out and about along the trail to find the best accommodation in each village. It includes motels, B&B’s en-suite cabins in holiday parks, and simple country pubs. These are all close to the trail, and close to cafes for meals.

The starting price for our these packages uses simple en suite accommodation in holiday parks or simple country pubs.

We can also price your package using upgraded accommodation, staying in B&B’s or motels. The total additional price for this upgrade is likely to be between $50pp and $100pp.

The Gentle Cycling Good Things Maps are included in our packages. These are waterproof, topographic-style maps. They illustrate our exclusive recommendations for detours off the trail to visit all our favourite places. For the adults, we provide tips for the best local food, wine, craft beer, art, history and landscape. And for the kids, we’ve thought of fun things along the trail that will add something special every day. So everyone can enjoy the journey.

Our itineraries are designed to make it easy for you to add a day trip in the Abel Tasman National Park. Boats travelling into the park depart from the beachfront at Kaiteriteri. By staying a night in Kaiteriteri, you will be within easy walking distance of the beachfront. And if your cycling trip finished in Kaiteriteri, we will arrange your transport from Kaiteriteri back to Nelson, or to the airport, after your Park Day. Book your Wilsons Abel Tasman trip with us and you pay the same price as when you book it yourselves and we will ensure your whole itinerary fits together seamlessly.

Due to health and safety concerns, the maximum bag weight for our luggage transfers is 15kg. We can provide secure storage for extra luggage at our base.

We have plenty of free, off-street parking for your vehicles at our base.

Interactive Map

Explore the Plains and Coast ride with the interactive map below. Use the + and – to enlarge and reduce. Click on the orange symbols and the coloured route lines for more information.

What our adventurers say

Great customer service. Very easy to deal with A+++
Nice folks, pretty good bikes, all good.
Bernie and Chris were really helpful and provided a fantastic service
Bernie was so helpful to us on our self guided cycle of the great tast trail last weekend (Nov 3-6th 2023).We hadn’t booked anything through the Gentle Cycle Co but needed a shuttle for 4 of us + bikes from Nelson to Tapawerea as the weather was awful on our first day. Bernie turned up in 10 mins and took us all out to Tapawera in no time at all and was really friendly and informative on the area and trails.She checked in on us via text the next day and then picked us up on the last day and delivered us in time for our flight on Monday midday.We cant recommend Bernie & the Gentle Cycle Company enough, really super helpful & responsive and with all the shuttle equipment and knowledge about the trail, the people and the area!Thanks so much for helping us out Bernie, we’ll be back down for more!
Amazing, very friendly and flexible team who has gone beyond the extra mile to make our cycling experience the best possible.Chris and Bernie and genuine and very experienced people with great quality bikes both electric and push bikes.They also had a good selection of quality kid seats for multiple ages, sizes including trailers etc.Shuttle was on time and entertaining .Thank you Team!! We will be back!
Fantastic company who went above & beyond to ensure we had a great day out cycling. Great communication, super helpful, very friendly & awesome bikes. I highly recommend to anyone looking to hire a bike while in the Nelson region. Thanks so much Bernie & Chris for everything, you guys rock.
Chris and Bernie were so lovely and very helpful and checked in on us during our trip to make sure everything was going well. I’d definitely recommend booking a cycling trip with them!
Chris and Bernie were great hosts so friendly…helping us with planning our cycle tour along the track from Kōhatu through the Spooners tunnel to Tāhunanui Great advice for some good stops bakery and beer 👍They organised everything great bikes ,lights ,detailed maps even gel seats!!Thank you for a great day I would highly recommend this family company
Rented a bike for 2 days. Chris explained all the Interesting areas, the route, explained the ferry timeline on Mapua, major land marks, gave me a couple of paper maps, and and ensured I had everything I needed for the bike ride. He was kind enough to let me ride along with his family to Mapua the next day. The bikes were in excellent condition and have a basket or saddle. I would highly recommend and rent bikes from them again without a second thought.
We just finished the Great Taste Trail and that was an awesome experience. We chose to do the trail carrying our own food and gear (tent, sleeping bags). Bernie told us so many tips along the road, which was very kind. At the end, Chris advised us lots of places to go to carry on our holidays 👍5 stars to the Gentle Cycling company for their warm welcome. Moreover, bicycles are good 😊🚴
Helped me out with a bike at very short notice. Friendly and helpful service. Bike was solid and well equipped.
I highly recommend The Gentle Cycling company! I recently took the “Coastal Classic” trip and worked closely with Bernie, the co-owner, to plan and book everything. Bernie was exceptionally kind and communicative and was willing to tailor the experience to fit my budget and make the most of the experience within the time frame I had. As a young solo female traveler, I really appreciated the lengths Bernie went to to make sure I felt safe and cared for: she checked in at the end of each day to make sure I had reached my destination and thoughtfully picked out my lodging. The accommodation was comfortable and in convenient locations. Also, the bike was comfortable and well-maintained. The points of interest Bernie suggested were also very worthwhile. You can really tell that there is a lot of care put into this family business.
Rented e-bikes off of Chris and Bernie yesterday. From start to finish they could not have been more helpful, super friendly and welcoming. They gave us handy maps, loads of advice on where to go/ what to do and were so so nice. The ride through the trails to the winery was beautiful. Would highly recommend. 🤩🤩
Accommodated some whingey kids to a great family day out, thanks team
die tour war perfekt vorbereitet und geplant, man fühlt sich sicher und sehr persönlich betreut. die unterkünfte sind sehr einfach aber sauber und die tour ist sehr abwächslungsreich.
Great bike hire company. Lisa was really helpful sorting out the right ebikes for us, advice on routes to take and tips on places to visit. My wife and I hadn't cycled for several years but managed a 40K+ trip to Rabbit Island. Thanks Lisa
What a fantastic few days doing the Great Taste Trail. Bernie organised the whole trip and provided us with a great itinerary. She went the extra mile collecting us from the airport and kept in touch each day. We had awesome accommodation in Mapua and Kaiteriteri. 2 of us used e-bikes and 2 standard bikes. Panniers and handle bar bags were provided. The mountain bike track on the last day was so much fun as none of us have done this before. I would highly recommend The Gentle Cycling Company for bike hire and organising Cycling trips.
We had an excellent experience with The Gentle Cycling Company. Bernie and Chris, the owners, went out of their way to help us construct the exact biking itinerary we wanted and were both lovely and friendly and efficient at all times.Our group of three chose to ride from their location in Stoke up to Mapua. We had intended to bike further but we simply enjoyed the ride, stopped too often, and had a leisurely lunch in Mapua. Chris came and picked us up, along with the bikes, and brought us back to our car.The bikes were new, or really close to it, as were the helmets and panniers. We had no issue with any of the equipment.This is truly a family-owned and operated business and it shows in all the best ways. I strongly recommend them if you're planning on biking any part of (or all) of Great Taste Trail in Nelson.
Such a great day. We couldn’t believe how far we cycled as well as managing to cram in a great coffee stop, two wine tastings, loads of photo ops etc. Excellent e bikes and instruction from Chris and Bernie who really take time to make you comfortable with the route etc. Very friendly and knowledgeable. Thank you!
Chris and Bernie were fantastic to deal with super helpful super friendly and provided great support turning up to fix flat tyres doing special pick up and drop off nothing was too much trouble and their recommendations on what to see and where to eat were spot on. If you want to do a supported self guided stress free cycling trip let the Gentle Cycling Co wrap their arms around you!
Great experience cycling and renting bikes! Bernie took great care of us, so helpful providing us with info and maps before we went! Would definitely recommend!
We hired two touring bikes to cycle around Nelson and enjoy some of the craft beer breweries. It was a fantastic experience, the cycleways in Nelson are amazing where you can cycle mainly the entire way off the road.Chris was very helpful getting us setup on our bikes and giving us some tips for the day.The bikes were in excellent condition and well maintained.Would highly recommend.
We had an amazing day! The bikes were great quality. We got a bit lost and Bernie and Chris were so helpful. They went out of their way to get us and even gave us a lift back to our hostel! 10/10 would recommend
I would recommend these guys to anyone thinking of doing the great taste trail or hiring bikes for smaller day trips. Chris & Bernie made our cycle on the great taste trail a breeze! From organising ferry transfers, accommodation and transferring our luggage between accommodation, writing lists of recommended food and leisure stops, to offering extras like gel seat pads and a bike tray to carry our day stuff. They were so friendly and such a pleasure to talk to and quickly responded to any queries.
A wonderful day cycling along the sea, tasting wine and lunching. Chris and his team very professional, bikes in great condition and everything provided for a great experience.
Great service meant we had a great holiday. Chris and Bernie provided everything we needed and went above and beyond to ensure everything was just perfect. They were very accommodating when we changed plans and allowed us flexibility on the trail. Definitely recommend them.
Our family rented bike from the Gentle Cycling compang. Chris was very helpful to explain the bike trail and told us good places to go. We got back late as we were stuck in the middle of journey. Chris kept in touch with us to make sure we were safe. Highly recommended! It was one of the best bike trip.Thank you 😊
I rented an e-bike from the Gentle Cycling Company and Chris was extremely helpful and cheerful as she directed my time on the Taste Trail with a fine pub recommendation as well. Would highly recommend both the trail and the rental experience. The e-bike was a very comfortable and agile hard tail, mountain bike style and the battery assist made me feel 20 years younger.
Great company to hire bikes and Bernie was so helpful and kind. Made us feel confident getting back on bikes again after a while. Beautiful scenery and cycle trails.Highly recommend !
Great experience today riding with The Gentle Cycling Company. Bernie met us early so we could get a jump start on the trail, and picked us up in Motueka after a long ride. A family run company that is focused on helping people enjoy cycling. I highly recommend booking your tour with them!
Chris & Bernie we’re great hosts. Highly recommend!
So lovely and helpful - told us all the good places to go and made for a great day out !
Website and booking was super explanatory and easy to do/navigate. Day of, we were met by Bernie (one of the owners) who personally greeted us, gave fantastic recommendations for routes and generally made sure we had everything we needed for a single day of biking. Bike itself was in top condition and easy to use. I’d highly recommend this company for anyone wanting to bike some/all of the great taste trail. Excellent service and we will be back!
Super thoughtful operators. Really curated the experience to my tastes and abilities, and provided paper maps mounted on the bike to help me along the way. On top of that, they provided great riding e-bikes, better than the few others I’ve rented across the country. Includes basket to carry your goods
The Gentle Cycling Company is THE place to go if you are looking for some cycle adventure near Nelson! Super friendly team, great bikes and cool tips for exploring the area such as wineries, pubs etc! Highly recommended! Thanks team!
Great experience. Chris and Bernie are awesome hosts. They put together a great itinerary for us, which meant we could just turn up and enjoy the cycling, scenery, eating and drinking along the way. Great attention to detail. Awesome experience.
The Gentle Cycling Company was really kind and friendly. We arrived late in the morning and they showed us what we still can do until the end of the day. So not only with renting bicycles but also with giving recommendations for nice spots and wineries the team helped us. Would really recommend this small family business!The bikes were super good for our size and they gave us everything we needed in case of a flat tire.
We really enjoyed our day of cycling! Chris and his wife were super helpful, the bikes were great and the landscape was beautiful! Would definitely recommend!
What a fantastic experience. So much fun and a beautiful way to see the country! Chris and Bernie are so knowledgeable about the area and have some great suggestions. Our group thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, even after spending 5 hours on a bike!
This is my business so I'm a bit biased 🤣
Ik belde naar hun en al snel werd duidelijk dat ik opgehaald kon worden(top 10 holiday park) de volgende dag. Keurig op tijd kreeg ik eerst even een kleine toeristische toer. Daarna naar hun shop. Keurig op orde en door goede informatie kon ik de juiste fiets voor mij huren.De hele toer werd mij goed en grondig uitgelegd. Super fiets tocht gemaakt. 1x verkeerd gereden, even gebeld en alles werd opgelost. Nadat ik terug kwam kreeg ik nog een kop thee aangeboden. En daarna terug gebracht naar het park.Een echte aanrader als je van persoonlijke en enthousiaste eigenaren houdt. Alhoewel uberhaupt een aanrader!!
Had a great day out with the Gentle Cycling Company - part of the Great Taste Trail was closed due to storm damage, so Bernie offered a modified trip from Rabbit Island to Upper Moutere. Easy communication by email / text beforehand and during the day to coordinate pickup. Lots of support with set up to make sure that everyone had the bike that suited them best. Bikes in good condition & Bernie even noticed the tyres of a riders own bike were a bit flat and pumped them up. Would use the Gentle Cycling Company again - recommend.
Fantastic day out. Bernie was awesome, giving great advice about options. She cared about our destination and getting back. This company is personable, ready to meet your individual needs and adaptable. Would highly recommend them.
Chris & Bernie provide a A++ service. From great condition bikes to Chris's chat, our day was easy, carefree and the kids had a blast on the trail aswell. Cheers again for looking after us while we were in Nelson👍🏽
Totally recommend this. I had an amazing time riding around Nelson using the rented e-bike. Bernie was willing to accomodate my schedule, so everything is easy as. Special thanks to Bernie for the encouragement for going the extra miles 😊.
Friendly and accommodating family run business. Great communication and efficiency. We’ll see you again next time we’re in Nelson!
Chris & Bernie were incredibly helpful and accomodating, definitely eager to share the best that Nelson has to offer! We had an awesome day out, with easy pick-up and drop-off, can't wait to plan a longer ride for our next trip.
Great bikes and great hire price! Love the basket on back of the bike to put backpack in
TGCC really went above and beyond for customer service! Highly recommend the e-bikes for a fun activity in Nelson.
Great bikes, and a lovely area. But most importantly such lovely people! No problem to fit out an ebike with a child bike attachment when our small person had a bit of a wobbly about riding her own.
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Tahuna Holiday Park
70 Beach Road, Tāhunanui
Nelson, New Zealand

Postal address:
59 Beach Road, Tāhunanui
Nelson, New Zealand

Phone: 0800 932 453
International: +64 3 929 5652
Email: info@gentlecycling.co.nz

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Based on 132 reviews
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