The newest section of trail takes the former railway route through Norris Gully.
Bridges utilise the historic abutments from the railway that operated from Nelson to Glenhope from 1876 to 1955 but never connected to the rest of the national rail network.
The Norris Gully Reserve provides a pleasant picnic spot in summer but can be a bit cold in the winter months.
The trail then winds its way through bush up to the entrance of the historic Spooners Tunnel.
Riding through Spooners Tunnel is a highlight. It is a 1.4km long rail tunnel, the longest decommissioned tunnel in the Southern Hemisphere. The railway line was closed in 1955, against major protests at the time.
Please note Spooners Tunnel is dark and chilly all year round, so bring lights, and an extra layer.
From the tunnel exit, a pleasant 5km decent brings you to Belgrove and the historic railway windmill, one of only two left in New Zealand.
The trail follows a path next to the road until Quail Valley Road, then off road along the banks of the Waiiti River, past Ewings free-range poultry farm, and through native bush to the Waiiti Domain.
From Waiiti Domain the trail follows Highway 6 for 5km through to the village of Wakefield. This is a busy road so please take care and keep left. This section will be all off-road on purpose-built trail from around April 2019.
Car Parking - Spooners Tunnel
- On SH6, 5.3km south of Wakefield, on left hand side
- Unlimited Parking
- Cycle distance to Spooners Tunnel 11km
- On SH6, 10km south of Wakefield by trail (9km by road)
- Limited parking Monday to Friday, Weekend and Public Holiday 50+, refer to map below for further details on car parking
- WARNING: you need to cross state highway (100km speed limit) to get to Cycle Trail. Please be careful.
- Cycle distance to Spooners Tunnel 6.4km
- On SH6, 21km south of Wakefield, on right hand side
- Unlimited Parking
- Cycle distance to Spooners Tunnel 1.7km