Mountain Biking in Nelson


Designated as an IMBA Gold Status Ride Centre, Nelson NZ should be a strong contender on your list for your next mountain biking holiday.

New Zealand has claimed for itself a title as an adventurer's outdoor paradise in the Southern Hemisphere, and for good reason, with cycling - and mountain biking in particular - becoming a jewel in the crown of the best of what NZ has to offer. 

With miles of singletracks stretching from mountains to sea, Nelson’s trails feature a range of highlights across diverse terrain, lush green forests and native species you won't see anywhere else in the world and stunning views. It may sound cliché to say there’s something for everyone. But there really is – This is a place where every rider can have fun with the dirt on mountain bike trails. (Which doesn't necessarily mean you have to even get muddy if that's just not your thang!)

Of course, the singletrack alone isn't enough to give Nelson its gold level ride status. It's the combination of the whole; and the cycling culture - and everything beyond - that pervades every ounce of your experience here. The city boasts some of the most hospitable locals, numerous bike-friendly hostels and eateries, and enthusiastic advocacy groups. No wonder why so many mountain bikers will just keep on lingering in Nelson.  

Photo credit: Hero image from 100% Pure New Zealand

When to go

In Nelson, it seems like every day is a good day for mountain biking. The region is blessed with a mild Mediterranean climate, which makes the city a perfect bicycle tourism destination. Since Nelson mostly bathes in the sunlight with occasional rainfall, you can plan your perfect outdoor trip for any time of the year.

All the info

Where to ride

Where to stay

Where to eat and drink

Bike stores and rentals

Book a tour

Events, key attractions and other points of interest

Apart from the awesome mountain bike trails themselves, Nelson has many things to offer for a memorable vacation. Here are some activities and places to visit when you need a short break from the singletrack.

Explore the fine art of Nelson and surrounds

For art lovers, Nelson has a wide range of galleries, outdoor sculptures, historic buildings and artisan stores throughout the city. To plan your arty trip in Nelson and surrounds, use the Nelson Arts Guide, or visit the Nelson i-SITE Visitor Information Centre. Below are some suggestions:

  • Saturday Market
  • Suter Art Gallery
  • Nelson Provincial Museum
  • Jens Hansen – The Ringmaker
  • Craig Potton Gallery & Store (Central Nelson)
  • World of WearableArt & Nelson Classic Cars Museum (just ten minutes from the city centre)
  • Höglund Art Glass

Marvelous National Parks

If you haven't yet seen enough stunning views, why not visit one of Nelson’s gorgeous National Parks? Each of them is unique and distinctive: 

  • Abel Tasman
  • Kahurangi National Park
  • Nelson Lakes National Park

The charming Golden Bay and The Murchison 

Te Waikoropupu freshwater springs, Farewell Spit bird sanctuary, and Wharariki Beach are some of the highlights in Golden Bay. But you don’t have to wait till you reach the destinations to be entertained; the scenic drive over Takaka Hill (also known as the “marble mountain”) to the bay has already taken your breath away.

If you long for something cooler, Murchison - the white-water capital of New Zealand - is a true heaven for water-based activities including jetboating, and flying-fishing.

Advocacy Groups