The Nelson Tasman region offers some of the absolute best biking in all of New Zealand. The stunning bays and inlets of Abel Tasman National Park, combined with a fantastic cafe scene in Nelson with wineries and craft breweries all over the area create the ideal cycling destination.
Nelson Biking Trails
Tracks near Nelson
Most Nelsonians ride with a permanent bike rack on their cars, which illustrates how popular this sport is with the locals. The active MTB club is constantly upgrading trails so that there are more than 30 tracks within a 10km radius of the city centre. The range is from grade 2 to grade 5 with down hill tracks, flow tracks, root infested technical challenges, family friendly loops and classic back country trails. There is plenty of information available online or at the information centre on the latest MTB tracks.
The Great Taste Trail
Think of those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer, peddling the country roads of the sun drenched Tasman District stopping occasionally to tasting local craft beers (share a pint with the friendly locals) or sample some local wine made at one of the many boutique vineyards on the way – take your time, there is no rush.
If this type of two wheeling tickles your fancy then the Tasman’s Great Taste Trail offers a scenic, safe and easygoing environment to experience this wonderful region – a great family option.
Starting in Nelson the trail offers panoramic coastal views out over the beautiful Tasman Bay and Western Ranges, including the LOTR famed Mount Arthur and Owen. Throw in some wildlife at the Waimea Estuary, home to a range of bird species of internationally significants including the white heron and it makes for rather scenic riding – by the time you have read this the route will continue from Mapua to Motueka and on to Kaiteriteri, the gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park.
Craft Breweries: Beer has been central to the region's culture, dating back to the 1840s. Today there are a number of family-run craft breweries and outlets that welcome visitors to sampling at the bar.
Boutique vineyards: With 25 boutique family owned wineries located from the plains up to the hills offering fine examples of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The region has a growing reputation for the aromatic varieties of Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and Riesling, so get into the countryside and meet the winemakers at their cellar doors.
Galleries: With a great climate and inspirational natural surroundings its not surprising the region has historically attracted a creative community. Painters, photographers and sculptors have flocked here and studios with National and International acclaim can be visited. Galleries are as numerous as artists themselves.
Track/Road Conditions for the Great Taste Trail: Predominantly easy off-road trails. With some sections on quiet roads.
Skill Required: Basic
Fitness: A basic to average level of biking fitness required depending on the route/distance you choose to do.
Duration: 2 to 8 hours