NELSON TRAILS

Wai-iti 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.

Details
Length12.8 km one way Wai-iti to southern tunnel portal; 20.1 km one way Wai-iti to Kohatu
Time Required1 hr by bike; 2 hr 30 min on foot (Wai-iti to southern tunnel portal)
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

Great Taste Trail: Wakefield to Wai-iti

  MTB and Cycling

Great Taste Trail: Motueka Valley

  MTB and Cycling

Access

  30 min from Nelson (Wai-iti) | 45 min from Motueka (Kohatu)

 

The northern end of this section of the Great Taste Trail is currently located at Wai-iti, 18 km south of Richmond, and 6 km south of Wakefield. Both are accessed via State Highway 6 (SH6). The southern end is at Kohatu Junction (next to Flat Rock Cafe).

 

At present the Wai-iti to Kohatu section of the Great Taste Trail is stand-alone, as the other sections at each respective end (Wakefield to Wai-iti and Kohatu to Motueka) are still under development.

 

Parking

 

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




Beginning 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).

Wai-iti 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
Length12.8 km one way Wai-iti to southern tunnel portal; 20.1 km one way Wai-iti to Kohatu
Time Required1 hr by bike; 2 hr 30 min on foot (Wai-iti to southern tunnel portal)
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

  30 min from Nelson (Wai-iti) | 45 min from Motueka (Kohatu)

The northern end of this section of the Great Taste Trail is currently located at Wai-iti, 18 km south of Richmond, and 6 km south of Wakefield. Both are accessed via State Highway 6 (SH6). The southern end is at Kohatu Junction (next to Flat Rock Cafe).

 

At present the Wai-iti to Kohatu section of the Great Taste Trail is stand-alone, as the other sections at each respective end (Wakefield to Wai-iti and Kohatu to Motueka) are still under development.

 

Parking

 

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

Beginning 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).




 

Connections

Great Taste Trail: Wakefield to Belgrove

Walking, trail running and MTB

Updated 26 February 2019