NELSON TRAILS

Wakefield to Kohatu

Great Taste Trail

The Wakefield to Kohatu section of Tasman’s Great Taste Trail features the historic Spooners Railway Tunnel, which was once used on the Nelson-Glenhope Railway. The 1.35 km-long tunnel was completed in 1893 and was open up until 1955, when the railway was decommissioned. The tunnel lay mostly unused for 60 years until it was re-opened in 2016 to become part of the Great Taste Trail.

Details
Length26.8 km one way Wakefield to Kohatu; 18.9 km one way Wakefield to southern tunnel portal
Time Required1 hr 30 min – 2 hr hr one way Wakefield to Kohatu (biking)
Trail TypeShared track
Physical DifficultyEasy   
Technical DifficultyEasy   
UsesWalking, trail running and MTB
DirectionEither
NoteThere is no lighting in the tunnel; make sure you bring a decent headlight or torch

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Connections

Dovedale Saddle

   MTB and trail running

Golden Downs Trail

  Cycling

Motueka Valley

  Cycling




Access




  15 min from Nelson (Wakefield) | 30 min from Nelson (Kohatu)

 

The northern end of this section of the Great Taste Trail begins at Wakefield, 15 km south of Richmond along State Highway 6 (SH6). It is a direct continuation of the Richmond to Wakefield section of the trail. The southern end is at Kohatu, (next to Flat Rock Cafe), which is 30 min south of Nelson along SH6.

 

Parking

If you’re coming specifically to ride through Spooners Tunnel, Wai-iti Domain, Belgrove and Norris Gully are all good places to park.

 

Wai-iti Domain

Wai-iti Domain is located 6 km south of Wakefield along SH6, on the left side of the highway immediately before it crosses Wai-iti River. There is unlimited parking here.

 

Belgrove

Located the left side of SH6, directly opposite Belgrove Tavern, there is a parking area next to the historic Belgrove Windmill. Parking here is limited; on weekdays, only a handful of spaces are available. On weekends and public holidays only a larger part of the area is open for parking, though this is still limited to around 50 spaces. This is the closest place you can park to the northern portal of Spooners Tunnel.

 

Norris Gully Reserve

Located in Norris Gully on the southern side of Spooners Saddle, a few kilometres from the southern portal of Spooners Tunnel. There is unlimited parking here.

Description




At Wakefield, the trail heads west from the Edward St-SH6 intersection to Wai-iti River Bridge, where it goes off-road and follows the true left of Wai-iti River to a bridge just downstream of Hoult Valley Rd. From Hoult Valley Rd the trail runs alongside SH6 for 1.6 km to Wai-iti Domain.

 

At Wai-iti Domain, the trail heads along the true right of Wai-iti River for several kilometres before joining Quail Valley Rd and following it to SH6. The trail crosses SH6 (take great care when crossing), goes over Pretty Bridge Stream and reaches Belgrove Tavern.

 

From Belgrove, the trail follows the northbound lane of State Highway 6 for a few hundred metres before crossing to the other side (take great care when crossing). The trail continues alongside the southbound lane, crossing Wai-iti Valley Road (the main road to Nelson Lakes) and joins the former rail alignment at Tunnel Road.

 

Tunnel Road deviates from the highway and heads up Railway Gully. The road has a very gentle uphill gradient as it heads up the gully. The northern tunnel portal is reached 4.5 km up Tunnel Road.

 

The tunnel slopes upward from north to south. There is no lighting so you will need a torch or headlight to see where you’re going. The temperature in the tunnel can also be much cooler than outside, so pack an extra layer. The tunnel can be drafty as the cool air drains toward the northern end.

 

At the southern portal the trail continues to State Highway 6, crosses it (be very careful), and enters Norris Gully Reserve. From here the recently-opened 6 km section to Kohatu continues along the rail alignment (even utilising the historic bridge abutments and culverts). The trail ends at Flat Rock Cafe, at the SH6-Motueka Valley Highway intersection.

Wakefield to Kohatu
Great Taste Trail

The Wai-iti to Kohatu section of Tasman’s Great Taste Trail features the historic Spooners Railway Tunnel, which was once used on the Nelson-Glenhope Railway. The 1.35 km-long tunnel was completed in 1893 and was open up until 1955, when the railway was decommissioned. The tunnel lay mostly unused for 60 years until it was re-opened in 2016 to become part of the Great Taste Trail. The tunnel is the focal-point of this section.

Details
Length26.8 km one way Wakefield to Kohatu; 18.9 km one way Wakefield to southern tunnel portal
Time Required1 hr 30 min – 2 hr hr one way Wakefield to Kohatu (biking)
Trail TypeShared track
Physical DifficultyEasy   
Technical DifficultyEasy   
UsesWalking, trail running and MTB
DirectionEither
NoteThere is no lighting in the tunnel; make sure you bring a decent headlight or torch

If any layers fail to load, try clearing your cache and refreshing the page.

 

Access

  15 min from Nelson (Wakefield) | 30 min from Nelson (Kohatu)

 

The northern end of this section of the Great Taste Trail begins at Wakefield, 15 km south of Richmond along State Highway 6 (SH6). It is a direct continuation of the Richmond to Wakefield section of the trail. The southern end is at Kohatu, (next to Flat Rock Cafe), which is 30 min south of Nelson along SH6.

 

Parking

If you’re coming specifically to ride through Spooners Tunnel, Wai-iti Domain, Belgrove and Norris Gully are all good places to park.

 

Wai-iti Domain

Wai-iti Domain is located 6 km south of Wakefield along SH6, on the left side of the highway immediately before it crosses Wai-iti River. There is unlimited parking here.

 

Belgrove

Located the left side of SH6, directly opposite Belgrove Tavern, there is a parking area next to the historic Belgrove Windmill. Parking here is limited; on weekdays, only a handful of spaces are available. On weekends and public holidays only a larger part of the area is open for parking, though this is still limited to around 50 spaces. This is the closest place you can park to the northern portal of Spooners Tunnel.

 

Norris Gully Reserve

Located in Norris Gully on the southern side of Spooners Saddle, a few kilometres from the southern portal of Spooners Tunnel. There is unlimited parking here.




 

Description

At Wakefield, the trail heads west from the Edward St-SH6 intersection to Wai-iti River Bridge, where it goes off-road and follows the true left of Wai-iti River to a bridge just downstream of Hoult Valley Rd. From Hoult Valley Rd the trail runs alongside SH6 for 1.6 km to Wai-iti Domain.

 

At Wai-iti Domain, the trail heads along the true right of Wai-iti River for several kilometres before joining Quail Valley Rd and following it to SH6. The trail crosses SH6 (take great care when crossing), goes over Pretty Bridge Stream and reaches Belgrove Tavern.

 

From Belgrove, the trail follows the northbound lane of State Highway 6 for a few hundred metres before crossing to the other side (take great care when crossing). The trail continues alongside the southbound lane, crossing Wai-iti Valley Road (the main road to Nelson Lakes) and joins the former rail alignment at Tunnel Road.

 

Tunnel Road deviates from the highway and heads up Railway Gully. The road has a very gentle uphill gradient as it heads up the gully. The northern tunnel portal is reached 4.5 km up Tunnel Road.

 

The tunnel slopes upward from north to south. There is no lighting so you will need a torch or headlight to see where you’re going. The temperature in the tunnel can also be much cooler than outside, so pack an extra layer. The tunnel can be drafty as the cool air drains toward the northern end.

 

At the southern portal the trail continues to State Highway 6, crosses it (be very careful), and enters Norris Gully Reserve. From here the recently-opened 6 km section to Kohatu continues along the rail alignment (even utilising the historic bridge abutments and culverts). The trail ends at Flat Rock Cafe, at the SH6-Motueka Valley Highway intersection.




 

Connections

Great Taste Trail: Richmond to Brightwater

Walking, running, MTB and Cycling

Dovedale Saddle

MTB and trail running

Golden Downs Trail

Cycling

Motueka Valley

Cycling

Updated 4 December 2019