Top of the South Extravaganza

Top of the South Extravaganza

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Top of the South Extravaganza is run by a locally owned and operated New Zealand family business.

New Zealand’s ‘Top of the South’ Island, experiencing Cycling (on e-Bikes), Boating, Walking and Kayaking in the Nelson, Tasman, and Marlborough districts. With premium accommodation and world class food this tour has it all.

Days 1-3: Experience a three-day self-guided cycle tour of Tasman’s Great Taste Trail with extraordinary mountain vistas, amazing scenery through farmland, orchards, hop gardens, vineyards, coastal estuaries as well as being able to sample world class food and beverages. Stay in the villages of Wakefield, Mapua and Kaiteriteri, gateway to the famous Abel Tasman National Park.

Days 4-6: Experience the beautiful Abel Tasman coast track from Totaranui to Kaiteriteri at your own walking pace with expert guides and boat back-up if required. Enjoy one night each at the wonderful beachfront lodges, Meadowbank Homestead at Awaroa and Torrent Bay Lodge.

Days 7-9: It keeps on getting better! During these three days you will explore the Marlborough Sounds which includes walking and e-Biking the Queen Charlotte Track, whilst staying at two amazing lodges in the Marlborough Sounds, WOW!

Gear Rental

We require the height and skill level – Beginner / Medium / Advanced for each participant for correct mountain bike fittings and briefings, we suggest that all guests have a minimum of a Medium skill level for the portion of Mountain Biking. Kayaking is suitable for all skill levels. Each participant is required to attend a full safety briefing and fitting the day prior to departure.

Luggage Transport

Included in the package is 1 x 20kg bag per person. Additional bags can be purchased at $5 per item per day, all bags are weighed and tagged upon check in to the Beachcomber Cruises Office prior to departure. Your bags must be in the reception of your Queen Charlotte Track Accommodation each morning by 9:00am for the water taxi to collect them and move to the next night for you, your bags are to be collected from our Picton office upon return from the kayak tour.

Tour Accommodation

Accommodation is subject to availability. NB: There may be an additional charge to accommodation costs if travelling during the peak season period – 22nd December – 10th January.

Please note: Tour requires a minimum of 2 people to run. Dates are examples as trips are tailormade for you. Please contact the team at Wild Earth Travel for dates and availability

Trip Name
Top of the South Extravaganza
Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE The locally family owned business is operated by Andrew and Sherie Schwass, Glen and Geoff Lovelock, who are passionate about the region and providing first class experiences on two wheels. In 2011 Andrew Schwass had the vision of starting the operation in Nelson after then Prime Minister, John Key committed to the construction of New Zealands, ‘Great Rides’ In 2012 the Mapua Ferry service was purchased for taking passengers and their bikes from Mapua to Rabbit Island. Based on the Mapua Wharf Kiwi Journeys had their first year of operation in 2014/15, hiring out bikes for people wanting to explore the trails on Rabbit Island. They now offer rental services in Kaiteriteri where the Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park is very popular and Nelson where you can enjoy the city trails or the Trail towards Mapua and Wakefield.


Day 1 - Day 1: Arrival in Nelson
Your tour leader will greet you at the airport and shuttle you to your accommodation in Nelson City. A short walk down Trafalgar Street, gives you many quality dining options.Accommodation: The SailsMeals: Breakfast
Day 2 - Day 2: Kohatu to Wakefield - Distance: 24 kms
Your adventure starts at the depot in Nelson City at 8:35am, where you will be fitted to your bikes and briefed before you board our trail transport shuttle and escape to the countryside at 9:00am.With an approximate shuttle time of 50 minutes to Kohatu, your driver will give you some useful tips about the trail including food and beverage stops. The Flat Rock Café in Kohatu is a perfect start for a coffee and muffin.From Kohatu it is 7.5 km’s to the tunnel. At 1352 metres long, the Spooner’s Tunnel is the longest tunnel open to cyclists in the southern hemisphere. The old rail corridor is unique and the amazing scenery combined with the peace and tranquility of the countryside must be experienced.Once you descend from the tunnel, the remainder of the ride is flat with the exception of the odd (very small) uphill gradient. Following the river, you make your way towards Wakefield witnessing stands of native forest, full of native birdlife including Tui, Bellbird and Fantail.No need to rush today as you have plenty of time to have lunch in Wakefield and relax for the afternoon!Accommodation: Snowball Manor Bed and BreakfastMeals included: Breakfast
Day 3 - Day 3: Wakefield to Mapua: Distance: 35 kms
Departing Wakefield, you will cycle beside quiet country roads towards Brightwater where you can have your first coffee stop for the day at HQ Café before cycling over the Waimea River via a swing bridge with stunning views of the New Zealand Alps. Continue cycling through the gorgeous vineyards, orchards, and farmland to the ‘Old Factory Corner’ which includes the Grape Escape Café, Conning’s Food Market, a cheese factory, seasonal berries, and a tasting at Richmond Plains/Te-Mania winery right across the road.Once you join the Coastal Route, enjoy the views from the coastal boardwalks of the Waimea Estuary and fertile farmland (home to a range of internationally significant bird species including the Kotuku or White Heron). Cross the spectacular Waimea Swing Bridge then on to Rabbit Island. Tip: If you are interested in wineries and tastings then we recommend a stop at the oldest and largest winery in Nelson, Seifried Estate.The trail takes you along the main beach of Rabbit Island where you will come to the Ferry landing. Tip: Stop and explore the white sandy beaches and take a swim in the warm sea waters of Rabbit Island. A short trip across the channel on the iconic Mapua Ferry lands you at the Mapua Wharf. Here you can enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of galleries, studios, restaurants, cafes, shops, and the Golden Bear Boutique Brewery for the evening.NB: There are multiple opportunities to visit wineries and enjoy quality tastings today!Accommodation: Accent House Bed and BreakfastMeals included: Breakfast
Day 4 - Day 4: Mapua to Kaiteriteri: Distance: 41 kms
After breakfast, it is on the bike again for a short ride through Ruby Bay towards Tasman. On leaving Tasman, a steady climb up to Tasman View Road is all worthwhile as you enjoy the spectacular 360 degree views of Tasman Bay and the ranges beyond (this section is grade 2-3 and has a climb of 200 meters over 4 km’s). Next you will drop down into the riverside community and on to Motueka. A recommended lunch or coffee stop is ‘Toad Hall’ at the beginning of Motueka. As you make your way around the amazing coastal trail of Motueka, you can enjoy the variety of bird species and gorgeous scenery. From the edge of Motueka you will be approximately 12km’s from Kaiteriteri. The short bike ride into Kaiteriteri takes in boardwalks and bridges through the farmland and orchards of Riwaka before entering the ‘Easy Rider’ trail of the Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park. This 4km section through the mountain bike park winds through the stunning native beech forest. Caution must be taken by inexperienced riders as there are tight turns and switchbacks. Once you enter Kaiteriteri you can explore the famous golden sands which mark the gateway to the famous Abel Tasman National Park.Accommodation: Kaiteriteri ApartmentsMeals included: Breakfast•This ride is rated ‘easy’, a moderate fitness level is required
Day 5 - Day 5: Kaiteriteri to Awaroa via Totaranui
Board Wilsons ‘Vista’ and Cruise the length of the golden Abel Tasman coast from Kaiteriteri north to Totaranui, relaxing on the viewing decks and enjoying refreshments from the cafe. From Totaranui, walk through mature native forest and along secluded beaches to the breathtaking expanse of Awaroa Inlet where you will reach Meadowbank Homestead – a faithful recreation of the Wilson family's original home on the ‘finest site in the bay’.9.00am Meet your guide at the Kaiteriteri kiosk for a welcome briefing with time for last-minute luggage organisation, before departing to Kaiteriteri by coach.9.20am Vista Cruise departs Kaiteriteri (Kaiteriteri to Totaranui – 1 hour 40 mins)11.20am Arrive Totaranui.Relax or explore around Totaranui before your walk to Awaroa Inlet. Either walk, if the tide is out, or take a boat ride across the stunning expanse of the largest inlet on the coast. Walk Totaranui to Awaroa – 2 hours 30 min (7km) including tidal crossing.5.00pm (approx.) Enjoy a warm welcome at Meadowbank Homestead at Awaroa, right on the edge of the inlet. Freshen up with a hot shower in your ensuite room while your hosts prepare a delicious evening meal. Local beer and wine are available for purchase at the in-house bar.Accommodation: Meadowbank Homestead at AwaroaMeals included: lunch, afternoon tea, dinner
Day 6 - Day 6: Awaroa to Torrent Bay
Your walk today follows the coastal track through cool native forest and reaches golden sand beaches, perfect for swimming. Start with a relaxing breakfast overlooking Meadowbank’s gardens and the beautiful waters beyond, then choose how much walking you want to do – your guide will arrange boat transfers to suit your needs.9.30am Depart Awaroa for the scenic walk to Onetahuti, which features a beautiful boardwalk and bridge designed by local iwi (Māori tribe). Stroll along the golden sands and enjoy refreshments supplied by your guide. Awaroa to Onetahuti and Tonga Quarry – 6km; maximum elevation 85m/280ft11.30am Before climbing the low saddle out of Onetahuti, explore the site of Tonga Quarry and hear stories of the unusual granite features and historic relics. Descend to Bark Bay via the waterfall trail featuring views of the cascade from a sturdy swing bridge. Tonga Quarry to Bark Bay (Medlands Beach) – 4km; maximum elevation 120m/400ft1.30–2.30pm Relax over lunch at Bark Bay where Conservation campsite facilities include shelter, picnic tables, filtered drinking water and modern toilets. Rest in the shade, explore the bay or refresh with a swim. After lunch, you will walk the most varied section of the coastal track as it winds through verdant gullies of mature beech forest, fern grottos and sunny groves of fragrant manuka framing coastal vistas. Cross the swing bridge at Falls River and continue to Torrent Bay. Bark Bay to Torrent Bay – 7km; maximum elevation 105m/340ft4.30pm (approx.) Arrive at beautiful Torrent Bay with its village of beachfront holiday houses including the Torrent Bay Lodge where your ensuite room and evening meal awaits. Accommodation: Torrent Bay LodgeMeals included: breakfast, morning & afternoon tea, lunch, dinner
Day 7 - Day 7: Torrent Bay -Marahau - Picton
Wake up to golden light on the sands of Torrent Bay and perhaps a coffee on the deck before breakfast. Today’s self-guided walk follows the easiest section of the coastal track through to Marahau, with panoramic views across Tasman Bay to Nelson. Kiwi Journeys will meet you in Marahau and transport you to Picton.9.00am Depart Torrent Bay Lodge. The tides will determine whether you walk around the inlet taking in views overlooking Anchorage Beach or take the fun short-cut across the inlet to reach the main coastal track. Walk 4–5 hours (depending on tides) – 13–16km; maximum elevation 110m/360ft.12.00 noon (approx.) Stop for lunch at a sheltered beach with views over the Astrolabe Roadstead to Adele Island.2.00pm Finish your leisurely walk at Marahau, at the end of coastal track, where Kiwi Journeys will meet you for the journey to Picton via Kaiteriteri, where we will collect your overnight luggage. The drive to Picton is around three hours.Accommodation: Picton Yacht Club Hotel - Superior Ocean View Room Meals included: breakfast & lunch**Wilson’s 3 Day Guided Walk - Other important information**•walking each day is optional. You are welcome to travel on any of the scheduled ferry services to enjoy relaxed sightseeing and wonderful overnight lodge stays•our 3 Day Guided Walk runs at the same time as our 3 Day Kayak & Walk so members of your traveling party can book different options, meeting up at the lodges in the evening•Wilson’s reserve the right to alter itineraries, timetables, and vessel types•all travel is subject to weather and tides which may cause delay or cancellation•seasonal variations to the timetable may occur to make use of the winter sunshine hours•alcoholic beverage can be purchased at the lodges and paid for by credit card on site
Day 8 - Day 8: Picton – Ship Cove – Punga Cove Resort
Please be at the Beach Comber Cruises Depot at 8.00am for your briefing prior to departure, so that the kayak and bike company can fit your gear and provide you with a thorough safety briefing. Depart Picton at 9:00am for Ship Cove, spend some time enjoying the Historic Captain Cook monument before starting the 15km, 5hr walk to Furneaux Lodge. This is one of the most popular parts of the Queen Charlotte Track, walking through beautiful native bushlands and virgin forest gaining elevation to reward you with spectacular views over the Queen Charlotte Sounds. Meet the boat at 4:15pm for your quick transfer across the Endeavour Inlet to the Punga Cove Resort where your overnight luggage will be waiting for you. Accommodation: Punga Cove Resort – Hillside Frond SuiteMeals included: packed lunch
Day 9 - Day 9: Punga Cove to Portage
After breakfast it’s time to jump on your E Bikes, setting off on the 24km track to Portage for a fantastic days riding with climbs, twisting downhill turns, corners and ridgeline sections all contributing to the enjoyment of this section of the track. Along the way take time to stop and enjoy the views as you will pass some of the highest points on the Queen Charlotte Track looking over both the Queen Charlotte and Keneperu Sounds. Arrive at Portage Resort and check into your ocean view room where again your overnight luggage will be waiting. Accommodation: Portage Resort Hotel – Kereru SuiteMeals included: packed lunch
Day 10 - Day 10: Portage to Picton
After breakfast you will be transported by car down to Torea Bay (or walk the 20-minute pathway) where you will meet your experienced guide for your days kayaking back to Picton.Your guide will give you a full briefing before heading off on your journey through the myriad of bays and secluded waterways, seeing wildlife along the way before heading to Picton where you will check into the Picton Yacht Club Hotel, your accommodation for the night.This day is dependent on rain and winds, we will contact you the morning of the kayak to discuss the options if the weather is unfavorable.Accommodation: Picton Yacht Club Hotel - Superior Ocean View Room
Day 11 - Day 11: Departure
Today is the conclusion to your incredible adventure. Check out of the Picton Yacht Club Hotel and enjoy the rest of your day. Tip: Marlborough is known for its world class wineries. Enjoy a fantastic winery lunch today, only a 30-minute drive to Blenheim!
Day 12 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

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    • Travel with locally owned and operated New Zealand family business.
    • Enjoy Cycling (on e-bikes), Boating, Walking & Kayaking
    • Discover Nelson, Tasman, and Marlborough
    • Enjoy premium accommodation & world-class food