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Wilderness & Great Taste 



Our Christchurch to Nelson Off Toad Tour showcases two of the best off-road cycle trails in the South Island, the Westland Wilderness Trail on the West Coast and the Great Taste Trail at the top of the South Island.  NZBT have put together an itinerary that links these two visually and geographically diverse trail experiences with cycling on rarely used bush roads through stunning beach forests, 270 km in total.

February  and March are great months for cycling in this area, and while the chance of rain is ever-present, it is more likely to be a passing shower, than an all day event at this time of year. 

NB:  B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

Day 1
Christchurch  20 March 2022 (D)  10km

NZBT guides will meet you at your accommodation, the Orari Bed and Breakfast, for bike fittings followed by a short ride around Hagley Park.

Your accommodation is very close to the shopping and cultural heart of Christchurch, with the Art Gallery literally at your doorstep.  The Christchurch Arts Centre, museum and botanical gardens are all less than 5 minutes walk.

Accommodation at Orari Bed and Breakfast.

Enjoy dinner at one of Christchurch’s excellent restaurants.


Day 2
Christchurch to Greymouth  21 March 2022 (B,L,D)  31km

Early breakfast before your pickup to catch the Tranzalpine train from Christchurch, reaching its Greymouth on the West Coast in just under five hours.  Lunch in Greymouth before starting the Westland Wilderness Trail at Greymouth Railway Station, with an easy and flat cycle to Kumara, an old gold mining town.   Accommodation and dinner at the historical Theatre Royal, Kumara.


Day 3  
Kumara to Hokitika  22 March 2022 (B,L,D)  72km

Today is a day of outstanding variety in both surroundings and cycling and generally an easy gradient.  Cycle on gravel trails, boardwalks and passes remnants of bygone mining.   Pass ancient Podocarp forests to Cowboys Paradise, a replica Wild West town, and on to Lake Kaniere, with a picnic lunch.  Cycle to your accommodation at Beachfront Hotel, Hokitika, where you will stay for the next two nights.   Dinner at Beachfront.


Day 4
Hokitika to Ross  23 March 2022 (B,L)  33km

There are a couple of ride possibilities today, one way or return (66 km).

An easy cycle today on the southern section and final section of the Wilderness Trail from Hokitika to Ross.  Pass through wetlands, native forest, past old mills and lagoons to the end of the Wilderness Trail at the historic gold mining town of Ross.  After checking out the gold museum at the information centre, van transfer back to Hokitika.  Enjoy dinner from one of the local eateries.


Day 5
Maruia to Murchison  24 March 2022 (B,L,D)  36km

Our day starts with a two-hour van ride to the Buller region of New Zealand.  Begin cycling at Maruia.  Cycle down the Matakitaki Valley (Matakitaki means “to gaze at with admiration”) through thick beech forests, grasslands and farmlands, to the country town of Murchison. The earthquake-ravaged cliffs of Old Man Mountain provide a stunning backdrop and a sharp reminder that the Matakitaki Valley is on a fault line.

Accommodation is at Murchison Motels, and dinner at The Lazy Cow.


Day 6
Murchison to Richmond 25 March 2022 (B,L,D)  66km

We cycle 27 km through farmland and beech tree forests from Murchison to Rotoroa via the unpaved Mangles Valley Road, Braeburn track and Gowan Valley Road to Gowan Bridge at SH6.  Transfer to Kohatu where we begin cycling the Great Taste Trail to Richmond via Spooners Tunnel.

Accommodation at Parkside Motel, Richmond

Dinner at Three Rooms Restaurant, Richmond.


Day 7
Kaiteriteri to Richmond  26 March 2022 (B,D)  62km

After a transfer from Richmond to Kaiteriteri, we cycle Tasman’s Great Taste Trail towards Nelson along the coast of Tasman Bay, with panoramic coastal and mountain views.  We stop for lunch at the Mapua wharf to enjoy cottage-industry shops, cafes and restaurants.  After lunch, catch a ferry to Rabbit Island and cycle on to the edge of the Waimea Estuary, home to a range of internationally significant bird species, including the white heron and royal spoonbill.  We finish the Great Taste Trail at Richmond, a country town on the outskirts of Nelson.

Accommodation Parkside Motel, Richmond

Dinner at The Lemongrass, Richmond


Day 8
Richmond  27 March 2022 (B)  No cycling


All distances are in km. The quoted cycling distances for each day are based on our day maps and represent the maximum expected riding, but are likely to be decreased to suit individual needs and weather conditions on the day.


Breakfast and morning tea are provided each day and picnic lunches and dinner on most days.  Included dinners are catered by NZBT. Snacks, fruit and drinking water are available at all times.


  • 7 nights accommodation as detailed on a twin share basis with private bathrooms
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 5 lunches,
  • 5 evening meals
  • Guide and transportation support
  • Quality off-road rental bicycle and helmet (please provide your height or bicycle size)
  • NZ Goods and Service Tax (GST) of 15%
  • Tranzalpine train one way Christchurch to Greymouth



The accommodation for this trip has been selected to provide a comfortable nights sleep at the end of a long day. The accommodation is on a twin-share or double room basis, with private facilities. Breakfasts will be continental, however, because these are self-prepared, there is a degree of flexibility if you let me know a few days ahead. 


Not included

  • Personal expenses
  • Drinks with meals
  • Optional activities
  • Mapua ferry ($10)


Payment and Booking Conditions

The price in twin share accommodation for the above seven day, six night tour, is NZ$2700 per person.





All adventures, no matter how modest, involve an element of risk - that is their nature. However, throughout your vacation, safety is always the most important consideration. Our experienced and safety-conscious guides are there when you need them.


Health and fitness

This is an active holiday so you need to be fit and in good health. If you are taking medication not listed on the registration form please let your guide know. Fitness is difficult to define. However, as a general rule you should be able to comfortably cycle for up to 3 - 4 hours a day. The fitter you are the more enjoyable your trip will be.


Gear List

The weather can be changeable with a trip like this, so will need to have suitable clothing for a wide range of conditions. We recommend you pack your luggage in a soft sports bag for easy stowing in the trailer. 

  • Tee shirt and shorts
  • Cycle pants and gloves
  • Highly visible/bright cycle clothing for increased safety
  • Long-sleeved lightweight top or shirt
  • Lightweight woollen jumper or fleece
  • Windproof shell
  • Rainwear - top and pants
  • Socks and underwear
  • Suitable cycle footwear
  • Lightweight trekking/hiking boots or footwear for walks
  • Personal toilet gear, towel, sunscreen and lip balm
  • Insect repellent for sand-flies
  • Casual off-the-bike clothing
  • Small day bag to leave in the van for items you want to access during the day

Tour Information

Grade 2
8 Days / 7 Nights
Christchurch to Nelson
20 - 27 March 2022
from $2700
High-specification road, mtb & e-bikes, built for NZ conditions
Enjoy home comforts with best-available accommodation, comfortable seats, gourmet food and happy hours
Enjoyable, balanced itineraries designed by cyclists for cyclists, based on 30+ years’ touring experience
Technical support and transport backup provides a stress-free holiday

Client feedback

  • "I can highly recommend New Zealand Bicycle Tours as truly outstanding! Brian and Carol, along with an exceptional staff, are personal and professional in every way; friendly and hardworking from start to finish so that everybody enjoys great routes, excellent food, comfortable accommodation and lots more."

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