NELSON TRAILS

Belgrove to Kohatu

Great Taste Trail

The Belgrove 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
Length 10.2 km one way to southern tunnel portal; 17.5 km one way to Kohatu
Time Required 45 min by bike; 2 hr on foot (Belgrove to southern tunnel portal)
Trail Type Shared track
Physical Difficulty Easy   
Technical Difficulty Easy   
Uses Walking, trail running and MTB
Direction Either
Note There 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 Belgrove

   Walking, trail running and MTB

Access

  30 min from Nelson (Belgrove) | 45 min from Motueka (Kohatu)

 

Belgrove is located 22 km southwest of Richmond along State Highway 6. The best starting place is the car park next to Belgrove Tavern on State Highway 6, where there is free parking. The trail passes directly past here.

 

The southern tunnel portal is located just off State Highway 6 on the southern side of Spooners Saddle. Turn left onto Spooners Bush Road at the bottom of the downhill straight after the saddle.

 

The western end of the trail ends at Kohatu Junction, where Motueka Valley Highway turns off of State Highway 6 (next to Flat Rock Cafe).

Description

Beginning at Belgrove Tavern, the trail follows the northbound lane of State Highway 6 for a few hundred metres before crossing to the other side. Take great care at this crossing as the highway is a 100 km/h zone. 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).

Belgrove to Kohatu
Great Taste Trail

The Belgrove 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
Length 10.2 km one way to southern tunnel portal; 17.5 km one way to Kohatu
Time Required 45 min by bike; 2 hr on foot (Belgrove to southern tunnel portal)
Trail Type Shared track
Physical Difficulty Easy   
Technical Difficulty Easy   
Uses Walking, trail running and MTB
Direction Either
Note There 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 (Belgrove) | 45 min from Motueka (Kohatu)

 

Belgrove is located 22 km southwest of Richmond along State Highway 6. The best starting place is the car park next to Belgrove Tavern on State Highway 6, where there is free parking. The trail passes directly past here.

 

The southern tunnel portal is located just off State Highway 6 on the southern side of Spooners Saddle. Turn left onto Spooners Bush Road at the bottom of the downhill straight after the saddle.

 

The western end of the trail ends at Kohatu Junction, where Motueka Valley Highway turns off of State Highway 6 (next to Flat Rock Cafe).

Description

Beginning at Belgrove Tavern, the trail follows the northbound lane of State Highway 6 for a few hundred metres before crossing to the other side. Take great care at this crossing as the highway is a 100 km/h zone. 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