DAY 2: Mapua - Motueka (Optional detour - Mapua to Upper Moutere return)
Cycle 26 km km (Easy to Moderate Grade). 54 km if you take the detour.
Some highlights of your day:
- Historic rural landscapes
- Quirky cafes, restaurants and bars featuring different life-style choices and scenery
- Award-wining vineyard with wine tasting and food
Enjoy a relaxed breakfast at your accommodation. Today you have the option to follow the Great Taste Trail Coastal Route directly to Motueka, or to start the day with some extra distance, exploring the extremely picturesque Upper Moutere area.
Upper Moutere Detour
This detour is on quiet roads, cycling the rolling hills in an area the locals call the Tuscany of NZ. There is one longer, steady climb of approximately 2 km. The route also includes one section of 2 km on a secondary road with no shoulder and is not recommended for the kids. After the climb from the coast up to the summit of the rolling Moutere foothills (elevation approx 100 m) the route is a lovely meander on country roads past vineyards and apple orchards to Upper Moutere. Look out for plantings of grapes, olives, black currants and hops and the old hop kilns, colonial farmhouses and interesting farm buildings.
We recommend a visit to Neudorf Vineyards
, where you are welcome to take a picnic and relax on the lawn with a glass of their gorgeous chardonnay. Wines from Neudorf Vineyards have found their way onto the wine lists of several great European restaurants. In the village of Upper Moutere, visit the fabulous pottery of Katie Gold and Owen Bartlett, call at a pantry store and design studio and relax over a local craft beer at The Moutere Inn, the oldest pub in New Zealand
. Your ride back to Mapua includes a fabulous long downhill as you ride back down to the coast.
When leaving Mapua, the Great Taste Trail Coastal Route follows the coast before heading inland, with a steepish climb of approx 1 km up onto an elevated route above the coast. This is apple country, so look out for the orchard packing sheds and interesting little workers cottages tucked amongst the apples trees.
Leaving the village of Tasman, expect another slow climb, this one of around 3 km up to the Moutere ridge. The next gravel section (4.5 km) climbs and descends as you follow the ridge (elevation approximately 110 m.) It's not a long section so take it easy and enjoy the views.
There are three authentic "Nelson-style" cafes on your route today, with interesting gardens and great food and coffee. There are tame eels at one cafe and another is on the site of Riverside Community, the oldest alternative community in New Zealand.
The section of trail through Motueka avoids the town centre and follows around the estuary waterfront, past gardens and grassy beach reserves. Look out for the open air Saltwater Baths and the old wharf. Motueka is bustling during the fruit-picking season and pretty sleepy the rest of the time.
Overnight in Motueka.
Nautilus Lodge Motel (4.5 star)