Nelson Cathedral Cambria House Nelson Saturday market Vineyard cycling Meadowbank Homestead Awaroa Bay Crossing Awaroa Estuary Torrent Bay Homestead Waterfall play time
Because not everybody wants the same holiday....
Because not everybody wants the same holiday....

Nelson and Abel Tasman cycle and guided walking holiday

Combining the historic port city of Nelson popular with artisans and a major New Zealand food and wine centre, with the Abel Tasman National Park stunning coastal scenery, white sand beaches and clear blue waters, our own Pacific Island paradise in New Zealand. Linking the two by the Great Taste trail an easy cycling adventure through coastal and vineyard landscapes.

This short break is planned for 5 days but this can easily be customised to suit the time you have available and any other requirements you may have. It can be taken as a short break or added into your New Zealand holiday itinerary.

Included are:

Itinerary Details:

Day 1 - Arrive Nelson and stay overnight
Nelson historic buildings

Today starts with travelling to Nelson, getting to Nelson can be by scheduled coach travel, direct flights from Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland, or by car. If you are planning on a rental car, pick up points within 2 hours are Picton and Blenheim Airport. Upon arrival in Nelson check in to your accommodation and head out to explore. In and around the city there are many galleries and craft studios to visit, a walk around the city reveals lovely historic homes and buildings. The Nelson Cathedral a relatively young building completed in 1965. Nelson markets are popular on the weekend with the Saturday market offering produce and crafts, then at the Sunday Market antiques, collectibles and produce.

Accommodation: Cambria House Bed & Breafast for 2 nights

Meals included: breakfast

Day 2 – Cycling the Great Taste Trail
Gentle Cycling Nelson

The Great Taste Trail is a trail built for cyclists, providing an off-road route through some of the most delicious and scenic landscapes of New Zealand. Much of the trail is easy, flat riding in a heritage landscape of rolling hills and plains, lush valleys, and beautiful golden beaches. For foodies, and lovers of wine, craft beer, or art, this trail has it all. Today you have the option of.

Great Taste Wine: Self-guided wine cycling package, full day tour, door-to-door from Nelson city & includes a wine cyclist transfer to the village of Brightwater, the first village on the Great Taste Trail Rail Route. Explore the flat wine country, riding self-guided on the trail & following our map – there are five wineries which offer wine-tastings. Not all are open every day. Emergency support is included. Flat, rural landscape among vineyards, apple orchards and farms.

  • Departs Nelson city between 8.30 & 8.50 am, returns 5.15 pm
  • Distance between 24 and 40 km (you choose). Flat. Mostly on off-road cycle trail. A little on-road cycling.
  • Full day electric bike hire, helmet, souvenir map, emergency wet weather support
  • Trip available from 26 October till 13 April

Great Taste Beer: Self-guided beer cycling package, a super-relaxed cycle tour for lovers of craft beer and cider. On this self-guided tour, you visit two breweries (including McCashins, home of Rochdale Cider), a country style pub and Speights Ale House. And you can add Pic’s Peanut Butter World (Mon - Fri, bookings required for tours) to your day as well. This trip is door-to-door from Nelson city.

  • Depart Nelson city 10.30am, return 5.15pm
  • Distance approximately 16 km. Flat & urban, mostly on a cycle trail
  • Full day electric bike hire, helmet, souvenir map, emergency wet weather support
  • Afternoon tea / beer at McCashins Brewery, Kitchen & Bar

More information on The Great Tast Trail.

Day 3 - Abel Tasman National Park
Nelson historic buildings

Today begins your 3 day guided walk on the Abel Tasman Coastal Track, fully guided staying in private beach front lont lodges, luggage transfers are included.

Start today with an included transfer from Nelson via Motueka to Kaiteriteri Beach.

Board our comfortable Vista Cruise to travel the length of the golden Abel Tasman coast from Kaiteriteri north to Totaranui, relaxing on the viewing decks and enjoying refreshments from the cafe.

From Totaranui, walk through mature native forest and along secluded beaches to the breathtaking expanse of Awaroa Inlet where you’ll reach Meadowbank Homestead – a faithful recreation of the Wilson family's original home on the ‘finest site in the bay’.

Approximate times

Scenic transfer to Kaiteriteri – 
1 hour from Nelson

Cruise Kaiteriteri to Totaranui –
1 hour 40 mins

* Walk Totaranui to Awaroa –
2 hours 30 min (7km/4.5 miles) including tidal crossing; maximum elevation 100m/340ft

Accommodation: Meadowbank Homestead at Awaroa

Meals included: lunch, afternoon tea, dinner

Day 4 - Awaroa to Torrent Bay
Abel Tasman walking guide

Your walk today follows the coastal track through cool native forest and reaches golden sand beaches, perfect for swimming. Start with a relaxing breakfast overlooking Meadowbank’s gardens and the beautiful waters beyond, then choose how much walking you want to do – your guide will arrange boat transfers to suit your needs.

Approximate times

*Walk in 3 sections of 2 hours each

1. Awaroa to Onetahuti and Tonga Quarry – 6km/3.5 miles; maximum elevation 85m/280ft

2. Tonga Quarry to Bark Bay (Medlands Beach) – 4km/2.5 miles; maximum elevation 120m/400ft

3. Bark Bay to Torrent Bay – 7km/4.4 miles; maximum elevation 105m/340ft

Accommodation: Torrent Bay Lodge

Meals included: breakfast, morning & afternoon tea, lunch, dinner 

Day 5 - Torrent Bay to Nelson
Waterfall by Torrent Bay

Wake up to golden light on the sands of Torrent Bay and perhaps a coffee on the deck before breakfast. Today’s walk follows the easiest section of the coastal track through to Marahau, with panoramic views across Tasman Bay to Nelson. This is a day rich in history, too, as your guide recount stories of how major landmarks were named by early explorers.

Approximate times

*Walk 4–5 hours (depending on tides) – 13–16km/8–10 miles; maximum elevation 110m/360ft

Scenic transfer from Kaiteriteri –  1 hr to Nelson

Meals included: breakfast, morning & afternoon tea, lunch

Nelson Accommodation: Cambria House Bed & Breafast for 2 nights

Meals included: breakfast

Abel tasman kayaking

We have based this short break on the 3 day Abel Tasman Guided Walk, the alternative options are

The 5 day options provide relaxation days and time to explore further independently from Meadowbank Homestead in Awaroa Bay and Torrent Bay Lodge, 5 day option available all year excluding period 23 Dec to 20 Jan and all of February. 3 day options available all year.


This holiday can be customised to suit your interests, golf, wine, hiking, art, culture... just let us know. You can also have all or part of this holiday combined with a holiday in New Zealand. Price will be determined by accommodation choices, activities to include and flight costs. Please contact us for more information, we are here to help you get the very best from your trip.

DesigNZ on Travel
85 Phillips Drive
Oropi Downs
New Zealand
Phone: +64 (07) 577 1434

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