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The cycle trail is called the Great Taste Trail and the ferry provides the transport across a narrow channel, departing from the old wharf in the village of Mapua and linking two sections of the trail. The Mapua Wharf is a must-visit destination, where old wharf buildings now house galleries, shops, cafes, restaurants and even a brewery. This was once the bustling heart of the apple industry and apples are still grown on the sunny slopes around the Mapua area, with the port of Nelson their point of departure.
The Gentle Cycling Company is situated 5 minutes from Nelson Airport and offers bike hire and tours on the Great Taste Trail - it is a flat 22 km (13.5 miles) ride on the off-road trail to the ferry landing. Cyclists follow the trail markers along a route that includes estuary wetlands, boardwalks, beach front and pine forest.
Here are our recommendations for places to visit when cycling this route:
Coolstore Gallery, Mapua Wharf
The Nelson/Tasman area is known for its visual art and this gallery is one of the best, having a great selection of local work. The range of work on sale here includes painting, ceramics, contemporary fibre and a big selection of contemporary jewellery.
Golden Bear Brewery, Mapua Wharf
Nelson is the Craft Brewing Capital of NZ and this brewery is one of many in the region. Not only do they brew their craft beers using local ingredients, but they serve Mexican food too. And it’s a great place to chill out in the sun.
The Smokehouse, Mapua Wharf
Tucked away on the old wharf, just next to the ferry landing, is The Smokehouse. Here you can pick up some smoked fish and maybe some hot chips to have with it. There are picnic tables on the wharf, so this makes a great place to stop and chat to the locals while enjoying some delicious fresh seafood
Seifried Estate Winery
Situated approximately 2 km off the trail, Seifried Estate makes a great detour for those looking to sample some local wine and food. The Seifried family were among the first of the current generation of winemakers in the Nelson area. Their range includes Chardonnays, Rieslings, Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Noirs as well as some delicious desert wines. And there is a café here too.
For more information about cycling on the Great Taste Trail visit our website www.gentlecycling.co.nz.