The Great Taste Cycle Trail Guide

A guide to help you explore the Tasman Great Taste Cycle Trail in Nelson.

Welcome to Tasman’s Great Taste Trail, New Zealand. 

Located in the north of the South Island, the Great Taste Trail is a cycle ride from Nelson to Mapua with many tastes along the way, including local produce, craft beer, wines, coffee and other treats. There is also great art, design and local crafts giving you lots of opportunity to stop and enjoy the area before continuing your ride in stunning scenery. 

Tasman’s Great Taste Trail will ultimately be 145km long when complete in 2017/18. The easiest section from Nelson to Mapua (33km taking 3 to 4 hours) is open and already extremely popular with locals and visitors.

Starting at Nelson Airport or Nelson i-SITE riders pass over boardwalks along the edge of the Waimea Estuary. From here the trail crosses to Rabbit Island, where riders can take a ferry trip to Mapua Wharf and enjoy boutique shops, cafes and restaurants. The trail is great condition and finding your way is easy, with many fun features along the way.

One of these is the Waimea River BridgeUp until 2012 this section of the Waimea River could only be crossed on a busy highway. Now cyclists and walkers have their own bridge complete with superb views and signs outlining the region’s rich history and wildlife.

The Nelson Tasman Region is also home to the Dun Mountain Trail. We suggest you warm up on the Great Taste Trail before attempting the more advanced Dun Mountain Trail.

The trail has many information points along the way. Once you’ve crossed the boardwalks and bridges and arrive at Rabbit Island you ride through forest then along a road beside one of Nelson’s popular beaches.….And from Rabbit Island to Mapua you can sit back and relax on the 5-minute ferry journey across the Waimea Estuary. 

Mapua is a beautiful coastal village built from former cold stores and their wharf. Many cafes, interesting shops and independent owners bring their own flair to the area. Mapua offers a selection of restaurants, cafes, bars, shops, galleries, bike hire and a great selection of accommodation. For more information visit A famous activity at Mapua is eating fish and chips or even some delicious hot smoked fish from the Smokehouse.

The trail continues along the beautiful coastline of Tasman Bay interspersed with hinterland orchards and vineyards on your way to the beautiful coastal village of Kaiteriteri. Sailing is the best way to see the magical coastline and bush backdrop of the Abel Tasman National Park – quiet and peaceful with the exhilaration of the wind and water.