Visit the Heart of Biking website(external link) for more detail to help plan your trip and for information on any trail closures.
The trail caters for a wide range of cyclists and walkers - with an easy-to-ride, with a grade 1 and 2 (Similar to the Otago Central Rail trail). Blue markers and signs with cycle logo on them identify the trail route, and interpretive signs are located along the way.
When complete, the whole trail - including a section in the Motueka River Valley - will cover a distance of 175km.
You will be able to walk or cycle from Nelson, to Richmond, Brightwater, Wakefield out to Tapawera, along the Motueka River Valley to Riwaka, Kaiteriteri, and then back to Richmond through Motueka and Mapua.
Tasman's Great Taste Trail starts at the Nelson Airport or the Nelson i-SITE and offers panoramic coastal and mountain views over Tasman Bay, Waimea Estuary and the Western Ranges, with many stops for fine food and relaxation.
The coastal route runs from Nelson to Richmond (11km), Richmond to Mapua (15km), Mapua to Motueka (33km) and Motueka to Kaiteriteri (16km).
The rail route runs from Richmond to Brightwater (10km) and Brightwater to Wakefield (8km).
Subject to funding, progress will be made through to Tapawera in the next two years.
Part of a joint Tasman District Council, Nelson City Council and Nelson Tasman Cycle Trails Trust initiative, the project was launched in early 2010.
Construction of stage one was a joint venture with the Nelson Cycleways Trails Trust and Tasman District Council. The Nelson Tasman Cycleways Trails Trust is a charitable trust for the Tasman/ Nelson region.
The trail was allocated just over $2 million in funding from central Government's National Cycleway programme and $940,000 additional funding from Tasman District Council.
The National Cycleway programme has the aim of building a series of ‘Great Rides’ around the country to showcase areas of natural beauty and to generate economic activity through tourism. The two projects for our region are the ‘rail trail’ style Tasman's Great Taste Trail, and improving and extending the Dun Mountain mountain bike trail near Nelson.
Read more information about the New Zealand Cycle Trail programme on the New Zealand Cycle Trail website.
The Great Taste Trail is part of Nga Haerenga The New Zealand Cycle Trail.
New Zealand's Great Rides provide exciting journeys on 2500km of trails suited to everyone from sightseeing leisure riders, to hardcore mountain bikers up for a challenge.
'Nga Haerenga' means 'the journeys', in a physical and spiritual sense, which is exactly what you will experience on the New Zealand Cycle Trail.