NELSON TRAILS

Richmond to Mapua

Great Taste Trail

The Richmond to Mapua section of the Great Taste Trail traces the coastline of Waimea Inlet (the largest estuary in the South Island), takes in the beachfront of Rabbit Island and finishes with a ferry ride to Mapua. The trail provides an off-road link between Nelson and Rabbit Island and its flat gradient makes it enjoyable for walkers, runners and bikers of all abilities. Known as the Coastal Route, it is particularly stunning at high tide.

Details
Length19.8 km Richmond to ferry at western end of Rabbit Island
Time Required1 hr – 1 hr 30 min (by MTB)
Trail TypeShared track
Physical DifficultyEasy   
Technical DifficultyEasy   
UsesWalking, trail running and MTB
DirectionEither
NoteThe ferry to Mapua runs seasonally. Check timetable here.

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Access

  15 min from central Nelson

 

As it links directly to Nelson’s network of urban routes, namely Whakatu Coastal Pathway and Railway Reserve Pathway, most Nelson residents can access the trail directly from home with little on-road travel.

 

If you want to leave your car to complete a there-and-back journey, there are car parks at Sandeman Road, Beach Rd, Champion Road, Saxton Field, Point Road (Monaco) and Nelson airport; all of the latter locations provide suitable starting points, depending on how long you want your trip to be.

 

The trail is regularly marked with blue plastic posts and informative signs.

Description

This section of the Great Taste Trail begins next to the Reservoir Creek underpass beneath Richmond Deviation, opposite Richmond Aquatic Centre. The first two kilometres follow the coastline around the back of Richmond’s industrial area and the racecourse. Along this section there is access to Beach Rd, Headingly Ln, Estuary Pl and Sandeman Rd. Nelson Pine industries is passed after 5 km. Beyond here you’ll cross sections of boardwalk that span the inlet; these are really nice when the tide is in. The trail turns south at Best Island Road and then west onto Lower Queen street; this is the longest section directly open to the road. At the end of Lower Queen Street the trail follows a stop bank to C.B. Kidson Bridge, which crosses Waimea River.

 

The trail passes the end of Cotterell Rd and runs through farmland for 1.9 km to Redwood Rd (the road to Rabbit Island). It crosses the pedestrian bridge attached to the road bridge to Rough Island and then the causeway to Rabbit Island. For the next 1.6 km it runs alongside plantation forest on the left side of Ken Beck Dr all the way to Rabbit Island beachfront. Rabbit Island Beach is very popular and provides a safe place to swim in summer. There are toilets, changing rooms and barbecues located along the beach. The trail follows the beachfront road west through plantation forest to the western end of the island and the tidal channel, on the other side of which is Mapua. A ferry operates seasonally between Rabbit Island and Mapua; timetable and fare information can be found on the Mapua Ferry website.

 

If you intend to return back to Nelson rather than take the ferry, consider continuing along Moturoa Forest Track which follows the western coast of the island and connects back to Great Taste Trail next to the channel between Rabbit Island and Rough Island.

Amenities

Be aware that there are few amenities along the trail between Richmond and Mapua. There are toilet facilities at the end of Sandeman Road and at the Rabbit Island beachfront. There are also drinking water taps at Rabbit Island. There are no cafes or shops until Mapua.

Richmond to Mapua
Great Taste Trail

The Richmond to Mapua section of the Great Taste Trail traces the coastline of Waimea Inlet (the largest estuary in the South Island), takes in the beachfront of Rabbit Island and finishes with a ferry ride to Mapua. The trail provides an off-road link between Nelson and Rabbit Island and its flat gradient makes it enjoyable for walkers, runners and bikers of all abilities. Known as the Coastal Route, it is particularly stunning at high tide.

Details
Length19.8 km Richmond to ferry at western end of Rabbit Island
Time Required1 – 1 hr 30 min (by MTB)
Trail TypeShared track
Physical DifficultyEasy   
Technical DifficultyEasy   
UsesWalking, trail running and MTB
DirectionEither
NoteThe ferry to Mapua runs seasonally. Check timetable here.

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

 

Access

  15 min from central Nelson

 

As it links directly to Nelson’s network of urban routes, namely Whakatu Coastal Pathway and Railway Reserve Pathway, most Nelson residents can access the trail directly from home with little on-road travel.

 

If you want to leave your car to complete a there-and-back journey, there are car parks at Sandeman Road, Beach Rd, Champion Road, Saxton Field, Point Road (Monaco) and Nelson airport; all of the latter locations provide suitable starting points, depending on how long you want your trip to be.

 

The trail is regularly marked with blue plastic posts and informative signs.

Description

This section of the Great Taste Trail begins next to the Reservoir Creek underpass beneath Richmond Deviation, opposite Richmond Aquatic Centre. The first two kilometres follow the coastline around the back of Richmond’s industrial area and the racecourse. Along this section there is access to Beach Rd, Headingly Ln, Estuary Pl and Sandeman Rd. Nelson Pine industries is passed after 5 km. Beyond here you’ll cross sections of boardwalk that span the inlet; these are really nice when the tide is in. The trail turns south at Best Island Road and then west onto Lower Queen street; this is the longest section directly open to the road. At the end of Lower Queen Street the trail follows a stop bank to C.B. Kidson Bridge, which crosses Waimea River.

 

The trail passes the end of Cotterell Rd and runs through farmland for 1.9 km to Redwood Rd (the road to Rabbit Island). It crosses the pedestrian bridge attached to the road bridge to Rough Island and then the causeway to Rabbit Island. For the next 1.6 km it runs alongside plantation forest on the left side of Ken Beck Dr all the way to Rabbit Island beachfront. Rabbit Island Beach is very popular and provides a safe place to swim in summer. There are toilets, changing rooms and barbecues located along the beach. The trail follows the beachfront road west through plantation forest to the western end of the island and the tidal channel, on the other side of which is Mapua. A ferry operates seasonally between Rabbit Island and Mapua; timetable and fare information can be found on the Mapua Ferry website.

 

If you intend to return back to Nelson rather than take the ferry, consider continuing along Moturoa Forest Track which follows the western coast of the island and connects back to Great Taste Trail next to the channel between Rabbit Island and Rough Island.

Amenities

Be aware that there are few amenities along the trail between Richmond and Mapua. There are toilet facilities at the end of Sandeman Road and at the Rabbit Island beachfront. There are also drinking water taps at Rabbit Island. There are no cafes or shops until Mapua.

Connections

Conifer Park tracks

Walking, running and MTB

Moturoa Forest Track

Walking, running and MTB

Updated 26 February 2019