Nelson to Motueka Valley

Monday, February 20, 2017
Disc Trucker

I knew Harmony for a short time in the early 80's. We played music together back then so when I found out he was close to my route on the South Island I wanted to stop by and say hi. He gave me directions to his place. It may have not been the easiest route by bike, but it was scenic and a great ride. There were a couple of good climbs including Moutere Saddle and Dovedale, the later of which I had to walk some. The route started on the Great Taste Trail out of Richmond and then went through Upper Moutere, Redwood Valley. Dovedale, Woodstock Junction, Graham Creek.

The climb to Moutere Saddle was a bit disturbing as there was a lot of logging activity, as well as bulldozing down the native bush in preparation for pine plantations. I certainly get that people need lumber, but those native forests can never be replaced once they're gone.

Redwood Valley was true to it's name as I saw Sequoia and Eucalyptus trees. Really felt like California. There was also a lot of fruit, including some citrus. I passed by a strawberry farm where the plants were grown in containers on benches so that the berries could be picked without bending over. The nice lady working there gave me a few berries to eat on my way. Yummy!

Neudorf Road started off very scenic and then pushed skyward as it became Dovedale Rd (or something like that). It was steep and I had to walk some but then the downhill went on forever. I didn't know where it would lead me and it looked like it was heading into a deep dark valley that I'd never be able to get out off. In reality I was heading into the Mokueke River Valley. The Motueke River empties into Tasman Bay at the town of Motueke, but I would not go that far. Instead I followed a nice small road on the west bank of the river to Harmony's place.


Looking back towards the bay and Nelson
Looking back towards the bay and Nelson after the climb up Moutere Saddle


Sequoia Redwood
Seeing Sequoia Redwoods as well as Eucalyptus made it feel like California.


Weedy fields
The first of these weedy sugar beet fields I would see throughout the South Island, grown for cattle feed.


An endless downhill into a deep, dark valley.


Nice treelined road
A very nice treelined road on the west bank of the Motueke River.


Native hills
The hills around Harmony's place appeared to be native bush.