On yer bike – a day on the Great Taste Trail Nelson
Imagine….sitting in a deck chair, sipping a glass of fine Nelson wine…. admiring the view across the bay from RubyBay, waves rolling in, Nelson looking gorgeous doused in sunlight. You are slightly worried, because you have overindulged on the delights the region has to offer. You are looking through the brochures at Clifftops-Retreat. Then it hits you! This is it. Indulgence without the regrets! A cycle experience like no other. You get to taste the best of what the region has to offer, while cycling to work it all off.
Your day starts at Clifftops, after a leisurely morning, sitting on the patio, watching the sunrise over the ocean, listening to the chatter of the birds, enjoying your breakfast of farm fresh eggs, berries and fruit from the farm down the road, crunchy bread from the local bakery and home made jams. Nicky from Wheelie Fantastic picks you up for your days excursion. The bikes are adjusted for your comfort and Nicky is preparing you for your day ahead. It’s one of those beautiful Nelson days, sun shining, the light making everything sharp and clear. You are off to Kaiteriteri, the most beautiful beach in New Zealand. You are mesmerised by the golden sand and the turquoise water. The coffee at the local restaurants isn’t bad either, a good start to the trip. You will need that extra caffeine to get you over that first hill. The views are worth it though.
Nicky gives you plenty of distraction along the way, talking about the history of the area, the Maori past and the arrival of the first settlers. The views change at every corner. Before you know it you have put those hills behind you and arrived at Riwaka. RiwakaWharf is magic, a quaint little seaside settlement, boats reflecting in the calm waters. It looks like an artists painting… or maybe it has to do with the beer tasting you just had at Hop Federation. Gosh did it taste great, what a refreshment that early in the morning! You make sure to pack some for the finish line.
You pedal along the gentile landscape, orchards, hop gardens, along the shoreline of Motueka. Seagulls are enjoying the sunshine atop the Janie Seddon shipwreck. You have reached the port of Motueka, time for a quick coffee at the coffee cart and a stop at Talleys fish shop to pick up some freshly caught fish for your dinner.
In your saddle again you are following the trail to Lower Moutere and your Lunch destination. Riverside Café is right on the trek and the meals here are served with their own organic grown vegetables. There is also a milk vending machine, for your fresh milk supply from the farmers next door. The food at Riverside is delicious, the gardens different and gorgeous. Nicky shows you the crystal Lake on the property and you can see where all that lovely food you had just eaten came from.
You are glad you have refuelled as there is a bit of a climb ahead of you. But you are rewarded with the most magnificent views. To the right is the Mt Arthur Mountain Range and pastoral landscape in front. To your left lies the Tasman Ocean and the Motueka estuary.
The good news is… it’s mainly downhill from here… Tasman Store is your next stop, to pick up some fresh strawberries and a bag of delicious freshly roasted coffee by Lance and a bottle of Blackenbrook Wine from just around the corner. Jester House is just down the road, where you feed the tame eels and have a most wonderful piece of cake. Yum.
15 more minutes in the saddle and you have reached Clifftops-Retreat again. Happy of the wonderful day you have had but even happier to put your feet up in the deck chairs on the lawn at the cliff edge and soak in the magnificent views over Tasman Bay. And even better, you know that spa is waiting for you. The Hop Federation beer you are drinking was certainly well deserved. Cheers!
Your second day could follow the flat coastal section from Mapua to Nelson, stopping off at WOW (world of wearable arts) for lunch as well as the museum visit, then time to explore the centre of Nelson before being driven back to Clifftops. Or it could be a ‘back road adventure’, using a unique Wheelie Fantastic route, which can be modified to suit how you feel on the day.
- 3 nights accommodation at Clifftops-Retreat with breakfast and pantry provisions plus two days guided cycling with Wheelie Fantastic with Lunch included NZ$ 3255.- for two guests
Duration: 2 days/3 nights
Distances: 10 – 45+Km per day
Fitness level: A basic to moderate level of fitness required.
Trail Grade: Easy to Moderate