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.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Nelson’s rainfall is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year; there is no specific wet season, though the summers are warm while winters remain brisk.
Nelson has an average total of over 2400 hours of sunshine annually.
The highest recorded temperature in Nelson is 36.3°C, while the lowest −6.6°C, so be prepared for a wide range of conditions depending on the time of your visit.
Flying to Nelson
While there are no direct flights to Nelson from Australia, a flight to either Aukland or Christchurch and a quick internal leg will get you there in no time. The airport is located a short drive or cab fare away from the town and is the sixth largest in the country.
Trail Journeys can customise a route or journey and facilitate transfers from different parts of the GTT, but you can also be self-sufficient and ride the trail end-to-end or pick and choose which bits of the trail you want to do. With bike hire and pick-up options from retail frontages in both Nelson central and Mapua, Trail Journeys take the pain out of arranging a holiday with bikes.
While there are many food and beverage stops on the GTT (and ride snacks can be procured with a credit card and resulting local delicacy consumption), it’s always best to carry water, a phone and be prepared for weather changes, as it can be exposed and windy at times.
What bike for the Great Taste Trail?
While much of the path is sealed, there is equally as much of the ride which is smooth gravel. A road bike with fatter tyres could be a good option, but the best all round choice for the discerning cyclist would be a nippy gravel-grinding bike, or cyclocross bike. Trail Journeys also offer hire bikes to experience the trail: hybrid bikes which are perfectly suited to a more relaxing ride around the rail trail or a social family ride.
What else to do in Nelson?
Abel Tasman National Park: For some of the worlds most beautiful bushwalking, coastal cruising, or even river canyoning, check out the Abel Tasman National Park, a short hour drive north past Kaiteriteri.
Thrill seekers. Nelson is home to several mountain bike parks: Codgers, right in Nelson, as well as a purpose-built park in Kaiteriteri and Silvan Forest in Richmond.
Get your culture on. Nelson is a bubbling hotspot of culture within New Zealand, with a range of galleries in the town centre including The Suter, RED Art Gallery and South Street Gallery. For something a bit different, check out the World of WearableArt and Classic Cars Museum.
Perk up. For some stellar brews, we found solace in Kush Coffee on Church St and Sublime Coffee on Haven Rd. We were hard pressed to be disappointed with the coffee in New Zealand!
Where else can I ride?
New Zealand has lots of options, and the 23 Great Rides offer a huge range of rides and experiences around the country. From easy bike paths, the wilderness experiences.