- Ride Length
- 31 km
- Riding Time
- 2-3 hours
- 2: Easy
For a taste of rural Tasman start at Wakefield village, and sample some of the tasty food on offer. Relax as you ride alongside the Wai-iti Riverbank, through the Wai-iti Domain and past Ewings free-range poultry farm. Then you will reach Belgrove and a sign pointing to a historic railway windmill, one of only two left in New Zealand.
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 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.
Look out for bridges which make use 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. Nelson had dreamed of a railway that would link them to the rest of the South, but despite more than 80 years of drive and determination, the resulting line was destined to be the 'railway to nowhere.'
You will pass through Kohātu and then enjoy views across hop plantations and farmland to Mt Arthur/ Wharepapa, before a gradual descent to Tapawera. Here you can get a meal, purchase supplies from the small supermarket and brush up on local history at the Railway or War History Museums.
Car Parking - Spooners Tunnel
Wai-iti Domain: On SH6, 5.3km south of Wakefield, on left hand side, Unlimited Parking, Cycle distance to Spooners Tunnel 11km.
Belgrove: On Pretty Bridge Valley Road, off the SH6 (adjacent to the Belgrove Windmill). Parking for up to 8 vehicles, Cycle distance to Spooners Tunnel 6.4 km, Parking is not advised at Belgrove Windmill/Belgrove weigh bridge – logging and forestry trucks use this area.
Norris Gully: On SH6, 21km south of Wakefield, on right hand side, Unlimited Parking, Cycle distance to Spooners Tunnel 1.7km.
Get a Taste of …
Wakefield’s history, farmland, Wai-iti river, Spooners Tunnel, Native bush, Flat Rock Cafe at Kohātu, Hop farms, railway history, views to Mt Arthur/Tuao, Wharepapa, Tapawera village and cafes, Tapawera and Valleys Museum.