New Zealand is more than the land of the long white cloud – it's also the land of the long cycling holiday. Or short cycling holiday.
With a multitude of routes officially mapped and promoted around the country, Anna Beck visited Nelson to ride one of their longer distance cycling trails that make up the ’23 Great Rides’.
We travelled to Nelson, the oldest city in the country’s South Island, to experience the recently opened Great Taste Trail. With promises of miles of enjoyable cycling-specific trail away from the road and multiple food and beverage stops, I was eager to sample all the region had to offer.
Nelson boasts the title of being New Zealand’s ‘sunshine capital’, with its temperate oceanic climate allowing for mild winters and warm, pleasant summers; a nice departure from many other parts of the country.
Trail Journeys Nelson were our hosts for the day, and Andrew Schwass from Trail Journeys had customised a route for us that took into account our experience as road cyclists and mountain bikers, as well as our excitement for experiencing as much of the region as possible, and our love of craft beer and good food. While our day of adventuring started off on a slightly overcast day, the clouds parted as we wove our way along the cycling route.
The Great Taste Trail (or GTT) is 175km long if completed as a loop, featuring both a Coastal side, and a Rail or Valley route heading back inland. While the entire trail is certainly achievable for the more experienced cyclist within a day, Trail Journeys offers a few packages depending on fitness and preference, with the four-day tour being the most popular option. After all, when riding the Great Taste Trail one needs time to take in all the sights, sounds… and tastes that the region has to offer.