Marlborough Molesworth Epic

Nelson - Marlborough Sounds - Molesworth Station - Nelson Lakes NP - Nelson

The Marlborough Molesworth Epic is quite possibly the perfect cycle tour, combining some of the best and contrasting riding locations in the top of the South Island including the Marlborough Sounds, Marlborough wine tasting, the mighty Molesworth Station and the stunning Nelson Lakes National Park.

Nelson to Nelson
11 days (including start/finish days)
Approx 620km
A Fully Supported Cycle Tour looping the Marlborough Sounds, Molesworth Station and Nelson Lakes National Park

This diverse cycle tour includes the very remote and quiet roads of the Marlborough Sounds, the challenging, equally remote and vast Molesworth Station, and winding back to Nelson City through the stunning Nelson Lakes National Park - all balanced with a relaxing day of wine tasting by bike. And of course we include plenty of quirky extras and special places in the true Escape Adventures' style. This is a fully supported loop trip - ex Nelson so you can ride the Marlborough Molesworth Epic knowing that we have got your back!

What is “Fully Supported”?

We’ll sort the nitty gritty. Before your tour begins, we will organise all the logistics and book all accommodation.  We will give you daily digital route maps, that you can follow on your phone or GPS, and route cue notes so that you can ride at your own pace, stop when you like to smell the roses and grab a coffee when the opportunity presents, while always knowing that we are there if you need us.

On tour, your awesome Escape Adventures support crew will have your breakfast ready for an early start and provide snacks for you to carry with you. They will provide daily ride information and ride sweep with first aid and mechanical support. Our support vehicle will carry your luggage, and on most days set up a ‘floating picnic lunch’ on route so that you can dine’n’dash and top up on water and snacks. The support vehicle is also there if you need first aid or mechanical support, or if you need a break from the saddle.

Contact us for More Info or To Register your Interest.

Meeting Point: Nelson City
Ride Start: Pelorus
Ride Finish: Nelson
Finish: Nelson City

How does a 'Supported Cycle Tour' Work?



  • Daily ride information.
  • Digital navigation and cue notes.
  • Mechanical and first aid support.
  • Carry your luggage.
  • Ride sweep.
  • Sag Wagon.
  • Breakfasts, lunches, water and riding snacks (and some dinners).
  • All the logistics.
  • And all Accommodation

The Biking

  • A total distance of 620km spread over 9 days of biking.
  • This is a 'Pedal bike-centric’ cycle tour.  Riding distances, tour pace and refreshment stops have been designed around the needs of pedal bikers.  E-Bikers are also welcome to join.
  • Daily riding distances have been planned to be achievable, (but not without challenge) and to allow plenty of time to explore along the way.
  • We encourage an early start so that you have time to recharge at the end of the day.
  • 25-104km riding per day on wonderfully remote and scenic riding route.  Approximately 40% sealed roads / 50% quiet gravel roads and farm tracks and 10% cycle trails.
  • There are some big climbs, big downs, undulating coastal terrain and of course there is also some flat terrain.
  • Cycle trails and some of the rougher trail options have variable terrain and generally slow riding speed.Dirt/gravel road biking experience will add to the enjoyment of your tour.
    Our ‘Sag Wagon’ support is available (most of the time) should you need a break from the saddle.


The ideal bike for the tour is a hardtail mountain bike or a touring bike with off road tyres.  A gravel bike is also an option - but only if you are familiar with riding one on unpaved surfaces!  You will need to be able to carry up to 1.5-2L water, a jacket and snacks in a backpack, front roll or frame bag.

Escape Adventures has a small fleet of Trek X-Caliber mountain bikes available for hire in S M L & XL: $300 (subject to availability).
Contact us if you plan on hiring a bike.


Included in your tour: All breakfasts and riding snacks, most lunches and three evening meals. (One lunch is not included).  The one lunch and most of the evening meals (as per the tour itinerary) are in places where there are dining and wining options available - therefore at your own cost and choosing. (This gives you more control over the cost of your tour AND spreads the love supporting local businesses!)  We are most definitely able to cater for vegetarians and special diets. If this includes you, it is essential to advise us of this before your tour begins, so that the support vehicle can be stocked with the necessary supplies.

Typical Meals Include:

Breakfasts - Fresh fruit, muesli, toast and spreads, hot drinks. Cooked breakfast on occasions.
Lunches - Picnic style lunches, fresh salads, cold meats, cheese & bread.
Snacks - Fresh fruit, salty snacks, home baking.
Evening Meals - At your own cost / Prepared by your local accommodation on occasions.


Accommodation is included for all 10 nights of the cycle tour. Our job is to explore and find the most fitting accommodation to work in with the riding route. The Marlborough Molesworth Epic is a remote, rural riding route and the availability of accommodation is limited, so on some nights only basic options are available. We will be staying in a combination of motels, hotels, lodges, a holiday house and a farm stay. Where possible we choose accommodation with ensuite bathrooms, however for some nights it will be necessary to share bathrooms.

Accommodation is on a share twin basis. If you’re traveling alone, we’ll pair you to twin-share with another biker. If you do not wish to share a single supplement is available. *Single room options may be limited in some locations.


This cycle tour includes rides of 25-104km per day. Please do read about the daily riding distances taking note of the riding terrain in the itinerary below and prepare accordingly. The more prepared you are the more you will enjoy your adventure! Preparing for your cycle tour should involve:

- Riding on gravel and other unpaved surfaces.
- Lots of hills! 

- Riding 3-4 times a week with rides of 30-60km in length.

Itinerary: Nelson to Nelson

Day 1:  Arrive in Nelson.  Meet with your tour leaders & fellow bikers for your pre-departure meeting and first meal together.

Day 2:  A short transfer out of Nelson and we begin our ride on quiet gravel roads and along the coast. Here we boat to a mystery location in the Marlborough Sounds. A short afternoon ride on private land takes us to our accommodation right on the seashore.  31km

Day 3:  We explore this remote part of the Sounds, passing through quiet coastal communities, farmland and through private property. 48km

Day 4:  We boat back across the sound and the back on our bikes, ride the scenic Queen Charlotte Drive / cycleway as we wind our way to Picton.  42km

Day 5:  We slow down and cruise around some of the Marlborough region’s world class vineyards by bike.  25-50km

Day 6:  We take the back route out of Blenheim then link into the stunning Awatere Valley. It’s a big day of pedalling today as we gradually make our way up the valley to the remote Middlehurst Station. 98km

Day 7:  The biggest day of the tour, we continue climbing up the Awatere Valley topping out at over 1100m.  Then its downriver and into the stunning and historical Molesworth Station through to Hanmer Springs thermal resort.  104km

Day 8:  After a couple of big days and wide open spaces we dial it back a bit taking the secondary route and 4x4 roads following the Matakitaki River to Murchison.  76km

Day 9:  We climb over the Braeburn Range and drop into Nelson Lakes National Park.  From Lake Rotoroa you can choose between two options to the lovely St Arnaud village.  74km

Day 10:  We depart St Arnaud on quiet back roads through small farms and forestry blocks. Then we hook into the Great Taste Cycle Trail for the ride all the way back to Nelson City. 98km

Day 11:  Our final breakfast together for this tour. 

Trip Price

Marlborough Molesworth Epic:  NZD $6,400
+Bike Hire if required $300

Singles: You DON'T have to pay a single supplement!
- If you’re traveling alone, we’ll pair you to twin-share with another biker.
- If you do not wish to share that is fine too, but a single supplement is available. $650

Included in your Tour:

  •  Vehicle transfer from Nelson to Marlborough Sounds
  •  10 nights accommodation.
  •  Meals as per tour itinerary.
  •  Two Escape Adventures support crew
  •  Support vehicle & bike trailer.
  •  Vehicle transfer from Hanmer to Springs Junction.

Tour Price does NOT include: getting to and from Nelson, optional activities, personal equipment & some meals as per the detailed itinerary.