Abel Tasman Coaster
This Great Taste Trail and Abel Tasman National Park adventure is a four-day, three-night independent tour. Tip – You may wish to arrive in Nelson the day before.
You will cycle between three to five hours per day on a vehicle free trail with an easy to moderate gradient. During your ride you will be able to visit award winning wineries, craft breweries and cafés, you can sample local produce and enjoy the buzzing atmosphere of Mapua Wharf.
Adding to your Great Taste Trail experience, day two of your itinerary includes a memorable cruise in the Abel Tasman National Park to the secluded Awaroa Lodge. Now it’s time to relax and enjoy two nights of absolute bliss and relaxation in a comfortable, architecturally designed ‘superior suite’ built over the wetlands. Unwind and enjoy the peace and tranquility for two nights, in this magical location.
Day four is an action-packed day sampling the best of the National Park. Today you have multiple choices of freedom walks or optional extras such as kayaking or sailing on board a Catamaran back to Kaiteriteri.
Nelson City to Mapua
Meals: Available along the Trail (own cost)
Your adventure starts at our base in Nelson, where on arrival you will be fitted with your bikes and briefed on your tour. From here you will start your cycle ride to Mapua on the Tasman’s Great Taste Trail. Please be at our depot by 9.00am for a 9:30am departure.
You may choose to explore Nelson City before following the blue Great Taste Trail markers and heading south out towards the seaside village of Mapua. Along the way you can visit the ‘World of Wearable Art’ exhibition and enjoy the atmosphere of the ‘Honest Lawyer’, a country style pub. There are also many craft breweries and wineries to sample along the way.
Continuing on the Great Taste Trail you will turn off the coastal path and experience the coastal boardwalks of the Waimea Estuary and fertile farmland there, which is home to a range of internationally significant bird species including the ‘kotuku’ or white heron. Cross the spectacular Waimea Swing Bridge, and then on to Rabbit Island where you can take a swim in a freshwater swimming hole or the warm sea waters of Rabbit Island.
The trail takes you alongside the main beach of Rabbit Island where you will shortly arrive at the Ferry
landing. A short trip across the channel on the iconic Mapua Ferry lands you at the Mapua Wharf where your accommodation awaits, and the buzzing atmosphere of galleries, studios, restaurants, cafes, shops, wine bar, and the boutique Golden Bear Brewery.
Mapua to Kaiteriteri
Kaiteriteri to Awaroa Lodge
Cycling Distance: 41kms
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
After breakfast it’s on the bike again for a short ride through Ruby Bay towards Tasman and to New Zealand’s number 1 café ‘Jester House’. Here you can enjoy the lovely gardens & feed the tame eels!
A steady climb up to Tasman View Road is all worthwhile as you enjoy the spectacular 360-degree views of Tasman Bay and the ranges beyond (this section is grade 2-3 and has a climb of 200 meters over 4 km’s). Next you will drop down into the riverside community and on to Motueka. Recommended lunch or coffee stops are the ‘Riverside Café’ at the bottom of Tasman View Road, or ‘Toad Hall’ at the beginning of Motueka. As you make your way around the amazing coastal trail of Motueka, you can enjoy the variety of bird species and gorgeous scenery.
Once past the township it’s approximately 12km’s to Kaiteriteri. The short bike ride into Kaiteriteri takes in boardwalks and bridges through the farmland and orchards of Riwaka before entering the ‘Easy Rider’ trail of the Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park. This 4km section through the mountain bike park winds through the stunning native beech forest. A reasonable level of fitness is required to bike this section and caution must be taken by inexperienced riders as there are tight turns and switchbacks. Tip – You may wish to upgrade to an E-Bike for this section of the Trail.
Once you enter Kaiteriteri you can explore the golden sands which mark the gateway to the famous Abel Tasman National Park. Leave your bikes at our Kiwi Journeys base, your chartered Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle will depart for Awaroa Lodge at approximately 5:30pm during peak season and 4:30pm, in the low season (times TBC on booking). Approximately 50 minutes later you will arrive at Awaroa Beach where your luggage will be picked up by quad bike. NB: Depending on tides, please expect a 15 minute walk up to the lodge. Enjoy the fantastic three course dinner tonight, as you dine on a ‘regionally influenced’ menu including ingredients from the Lodge’s organic kitchen garden.
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Today you get to take it easy and enjoy your surroundings. Surrounded by pristine waterways and native forest, the Lodge has been constructed to make the most of its secluded location which is
not accessible by road. The main lodge is warm, inviting and full of character with a comfy lounge, library, bar, restaurant and outdoor pizzeria; there are plenty of walking tracks or take a picnic down to the famous Awaroa Beach for the afternoon.
Awaroa Lodge to Kaiteriteri
Today there are some options to consider! Cruising, walking and the optional extras of kayaking or sailing. Kiwi Journeys will work with you to confirm your itinerary.
Day Itinerary, Awaroa Lodge to Kaiteriteri:
8.45am or earlier
Optional freedom walk. Depart Awaroa Lodge for Tonga Quarry. Sea Shuttle pick up time 11.15am at Tonga Quarry and arrive at Anchorage Beach at 11.45am
Meet Sea Shuttle water taxi at Awaroa Beach for cruise to Onetahuti / Anchorage Beach
Option 2 – Kayak
If chosen to walk to Onetahuti for Kayaking, meet Kaiteri Kayaks for the Big Tonga Magical Marine Reserve
Option 3 – Walk
If chosen to walk to Tonga Quarry, meet Sea Shuttle for cruise to Anchorage Beach
Arrive Anchorage Beach. Option to do a self-guided walk to Pitt Head/Te Pukatea Bay Loop Track
1.15 pm or earlier
If chosen to sail, check in at sailing catamaran at Anchorage Beach. Packed Lunch will be waiting on board
Depart Anchorage Beach on catamaran
If you choose walking options, Sea Shuttle water taxi leaves Anchorage Beach bound for Kaiteriteri
Arrive at Kaiteriteri Beach
Transport back to Nelson or Accommodation
Sea kayaking option
Big Tonga Magical Marine Reserve – Choose from the 11:00am water taxi from Awaroa, or a walk over to Onetahuti Beach, the centre of the Tonga Island Marine Reserve, where the kayaking begins. Paddling offshore, we’ll head out to Tonga Island, say ‘Gidday’ to the seals, then make our way back along the coastline, before stopping for a well-deserved kiwi lunch on a spectacular beach. We’ll float into Falls River lagoon (winds/tides permitting) for some great photo opportunities, then slowly make our way down to Anchorage where our Sea Shuttle will arrive to collect us. Lunch is included in this option.
Afternoon Sailing option
Join the catamaran at Anchorage Beach (1:15pm), gather your lunch from the yacht and catch the afternoon sea breeze sailing the coastline pass Fisherman and Adele Islands and Split Apple Rock. Check out the antics of seals and enjoy the golden beaches and bays and lagoons as you cruise to Kaiteriteri. Available all year however minimum sailing passenger numbers may apply in low season; please check with Kiwi Journeys when booking.
- Airport transfers
- All cycle equipment which includes trail comfort bike, helmet, repair kit, panniers, odometer and trail documentation
- Bottled Water and Map
- All luggage transfers (1 bag per person – limit 15kgs per bag)
- Mapua Ferry crossing
- Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle transfers
- Transport: Kaiteriteri to Nelson/Airport
- 3 nights’ accommodation based on twin/double share with breakfast included
- 2 x dinners at Awaroa Lodge
- Luggage storage for excess luggage available if returning to Nelson after tour
- Enjoy this tour and take the effort out of the hills on our high-end E Bikes (add $52 per person per day)
- Sea Kayaking: Big Tonga Magical Marine Reserve (add $160 per person, non-commissionable)
- Afternoon Sailing Adventure with Abel Tasman Sailing Adventures (add $128 per person, non-commissionable)
- Accommodation (all accommodation is ensuite/private bathroom based on twin/double share, based on availability)
- Day 1 – Mapua (B & B)
- Day 2 & 3 – Awaroa Lodge
12 months of the year (no seasonal restrictions)
Prices based on twin/double share accommodation
NZD $1499.00pp (min 2 pax)
NZD $1399.00pp (4 or more people)
provider kiwi journeys
provider sea shuttle
provider awaroa lodge