A popular destination for locals and visitors alike, Mapua and the Ruby Coast provide beautiful settings to enjoy a meal by the sea and a wander through boutique shops, galleries, and breweries.
Mapua Wharf has pedestrian-only areas that give it a relaxed and continental feel as you wander around the old cool-store buildings that once serviced a fruit shipping port and are now home to galleries, restaurants, ice creameries and gift shops. Mapua means ‘abundance’ in te reo Māori, and the area certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Mapua also connects with the Great Taste Trail and Rabbit Island via a cycle ferry that runs on a seasonal timetable, crossing the picturesque estuary to take riders to the other side. The Great Taste Trail is a must-do in the region, and is a great day out for families and children. There are a variety of easy half-day trips to select from, and the trail is completely flexible to your needs and abilities thanks to the local cycle hire, tour and transport businesses who can pick you up and drop you off at various points along the trail. You'll cycle past breath-taking views of our region’s stunning natural landscapes as you meander along the coastal and urban sections of the trail, with plenty of opportunities to stop along the way and sample some of Nelson Tasman’s delicious local food and drink offerings.
The Ruby Coast road is a picturesque way to travel from Nelson to Motueka and has lovely beaches, picnic spots, cafes, galleries and sculptures to tempt you to stop along the way. The Ruby Coast gets its name from the deep red pebbles which underlie the sandy beach – take a stroll along the waterfront and see if you can spot them.
If you’re here at Easter time, the Mapua Easter Fair is an unmissable feast of local crafts, arts, and artisan food and drinks. There are plenty of accommodation options in this part of the region if you’re keen on really relaxing and enjoying the sights. As with everything in our region, Mapua and Ruby Coast are best enjoyed at a leisurely pace!