Wakefield - The Great Tasman Taste Trail - CycleBlaze

October 15, 2020

Wakefield

It rained heavily overnight and the morning was cold.  We could see a little fresh snow at the tops of the distant mountains so we left with plenty of clothes on.  Even Ken wasn’t keen to brave the dreaded Mountain Bike trails again so we left early so there would be little traffic on the narrow twisty road.  Actually it was completely fine and nothing very steep at all.

Not for us today
Heart 0 Comment 0

Arriving back in Riwaka we turned  to be lead to a small road along the West Bank of the Motueka River.  To start with we were riding mainly through apple orchards.  The blossom now is getting towards its end but it is still very pretty and the gardens along the way were a delight.  I loved seeing and smelling lilacs as up North, where we live, it is too hot for them to grow   Once we reached the river we were on a road slightly above the plains in a effort I imagine to avoid the swamps of earlier years.  Here the farming changed there were some orchards but now quite a lot of cattle and a little sheep farming.

Heart 2 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
Across this bridge for lunch
Heart 2 Comment 0

The trail is yet to be finished so we were being met to transport us and our bikes over the gap in it.  The meeting place was Dunbar Estate Winery where we were to have lunch and a wine tasting before being picked up.  Lunch was an amazing spread of local delicacies cheeses,meats, salmon etc etc and we tasted 6 really nice wines (tiny tastes or we certainly wouldn’t have been able to keep on riding). Far to much for us to eat so it was bundled into a doggy bag and with the Reisling we bought will make nice meal tonight.

Heart 0 Comment 0
Yum
Heart 1 Comment 0

George our driver met us and drove us on to where it all started again.  He is a lovely man and full of information about the country we were passing through.  One of the main things happening in that area is a huge expansion of hop growing.  Apparently these hops are of particularly high quality and with the expanding craft beer market world wide there is an growing export market for them.

Our drop off was at Spooners Tunnel, this at 1350m is the longest disused tunnel in NZ (and according to the sign the 5th longest tunnel in the world that cyclists have access to). It was built between 1891 an 1893 when there was a dream to link Nelson to the West Coast - a dream that was never fulfilled   We had been told it would be cold and it certainly was as was what followed, 5km of steep downhill following very bumpy forestry roads. After this we were on tracks that followed the Waiti River until  we came to the little village so Wakefield.  Wakefield is said to have been the first inland settlement in NZ and has the country’s oldest church.  What I can say for certain is that it has delicious ice creams 

Heart 0 Comment 0
As well as tractors Ken likes pigs
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Seven people killed in 1914-18 War
Heart 0 Comment 0
Our home for the night
Heart 1 Comment 0

Today's ride: 55 km (34 miles)
Total: 135 km (84 miles)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 4
Comment on this entry Comment 0