Tasman’s Great Taste Trail is a drawcard for the Nelson Tasman region, for visitors and locals alike. The Great Taste Trail is part of Nga Haerenga | The New Zealand Cycle Trail. Nga Haerenga means ‘the journeys’ in Māori and refers to both the physical and spiritual journeys we take.
The Great Taste Trail is still being fully completed, and 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 on the coastal and rail routes from Nelson, to Richmond, Brightwater, Wakefield out to Tapawera, along the Motueka River Valley to Riwaka, Kaiteriteri, and then back to Richmond through Motueka, Mapua and Rabbit Island.
Representatives of the Great Taste Trail reached out to Nelson Forests for some assistance to finish a section of the Trail between Spooners Tunnel and the Kohatu Flat Rock Café, because they knew the company was supportive of community initiatives. Nelson Forests had been contributing to the project for some time as part of an ongoing commitment, and the company responded with a donation of significant value of work in kind to help get the new Trail section completed.
Connecting with what’s important to the local Nelson Tasman community is one of the long-standing commitments of Nelson Forests, and the in-kind donation to Tasman’s Great Taste Trail is one of several community support projects that the company is currently engaged in.
The Great Taste Trail is one of New Zealand’s Great Rides, beginning at the Nelson Airport or the Nelson City i-SITE and featuring panoramic coastal and mountain views over Tasman Bay, Waimea Estuary and the Western Ranges, and ending at Kaiteriteri. The Trail passes by many places to stop and explore the best of the region’s food and drink offerings.
The Trail also features the 1.4km long Spooners Tunnel, the sixth longest tunnel open to cycling and walking in the world, and the longest in the southern hemisphere. Trains used the Nelson Railway line and Spooners Tunnel until services stopped in 1955. Cycling or walking through the tunnel is a great adventure at any time of the year – make sure you have a good torch!
“We were really delighted when the Trust approached us to help,” says Nelson Forests Estate Value Manager, Andrew Karalus. “The trail is a great community asset, many of us have enjoyed riding on it, it passes through our forest estate so it made sense to offer our help. Our support has been in the form of undertaking the earthworks for the Great Taste cycle trail along the historic Belgrove to Kawatiri Railway reserve where it passes through the Golden Downs Forest from Belgrove through to Spooners Tunnel and now on to the Kohatu Flat Rock Café.