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Cycling / Road trip extended weekend in Nelson

All set for a great weekend. Sunshine is a metaphor for Nelson and even if there is a nip in the air it is not bone chilling. The cycling trail passes over boardwalks along the edge of the Waimea Estuary, where birds are plentiful, including the white heron…

4 days
3 nights

Trip Overview

Make it a hops trail

Route highlights:

The route starts at Tahunanui Beach (Nelson Airport), Eddyline Brewery, Pic Peanut World, Seifrieds Estate, Golden Bear Brewing, Joint Works Studio, Toad Hall, Townshend Brewery and Tap Room.

The route includes the road detour via Selfrieds Estate vineyard or the option of cycling through the Waimea Estuary, Estuary swing bridge to Rabbit Island and Mapua Ferry terminal.

Best time to visit:

Mid November to early April. Year round Nelson is a great place to visit. Expect in the cooler months a brisk breeze, the area is unlikely to experience frosts.


Nelson Weather Forecast and Observations

Cyclists pack layers just in case of a spot of rain. And the lack of shade in summer means sunscreen is necessary all year round.

Start Nelson/Stoke
Finish Nelson/Stoke

All set for a great weekend. Sunshine is a metaphor for Nelson and even if there is a nip in the air it is not bone chilling. The cycling trail passes over boardwalks along the edge of the Waimea Estuary, where birds are plentiful, including the white heron. The trail then crosses to Rabbit Island, where you can catch the Mapua Ferry with your bikes on board and take a trip to Mapua Wharf. The cycle route then continues north-west from Mapua to Motueka, known for its award winning wineries with the detour option of expanding the trip to Kaiteriteri, the gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park.

This is an easy cycling trail with a gentle incline (excluding Kaiteriteri) passing farmland, orchards, vineyards, breweries, farm gates laden with fresh bounty and a cafe to rest and revive. The route is part of the Tasman’s Great Taste Trail and is one of New Zealand’s Great Rides.

TIP: Of course, you do not have to actually cycle at all. Another option is cycle and ride with bike hire companies offering a range of options from one way pick up to collection at designated spots. Arrange and discuss before booking bicycle hire, especially in the peak season

Start Nelson/Stoke
Finish Nelson/Stoke

Route map

Day 1

Arrive in Nelson: Mid-morning

Seifried Estate, New Zealand @Fells
Seifried Estate @Fells

Cycling and e-bikes makes it easy as the effort is battery powered.

And for those whom cycling is not a holiday the weekend route is easily converted into a drive / walk holiday.

Today is about exploring Rabbit Island and relaxing into the weekend away from the bustle of everyday life.

For those wanting not to bike, pick up a rental car and drive to the first stop.

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Stops & extensions
Day 2

Mapua To Motueka

Motueka Inlet Walkway, New Zealand @schnitzel. kiwi
Motueka Inlet Walkway

The cycling distance is 26 km. This is apple orchard country travelling through the picturesque settlement of Ruby Bay before a steep climb of 1 km onto the elevated route above the coast through orchards.

You will pass Tasman village, where there is a village store, cafe and artist markets marketing single produce wares.

There is the option of a detour to Kina Peninsula. Then is the harder slog uphill for 3km to the Moutere ridge. The elevation is approximately 110m.

Catch your breath and take in the views of the Tasman Sea.

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Stops & extensions
Day 3

Motueka and Riwaka all day exploration

Riwaka River, New Zealand @Petetheclown
Riwaka River @Petetheclown

Motueka and Riwaka all day exploration. Art galleries, eateries, beaches and indulging the impulse to find out what is around the corner.

A day to return to your favourite place for a spur of the moment picnic or to browse the many shops and galleries lining Motueka’s main street.

The town is known for its delicious freshly baked breads and pies catering to the many visitors on their way to the Abel Tasman park.

You will explore Riwaka galleries and spend time savouring a brew at Hop Federation Brewery.

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Stops & extensions
Day 4

Departure to airport

@Nelson Airport
@Nelson Airport

An early to mid morning departure to Nelson airport (Stoke) or further afield to Murchison exploring the South Island West Coast.

Wherever your footsteps take you visitors return to Nelson and Marlborough iconic beach destinations with so much more than gold sand and warm sun to offer the visitor.

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