Mount Richmond Forest Park
- Walks & Hikes
The Mount Richmond Forest Park comprises most of the steep native forest-covered mountain country between Nelson and Blenheim, forming the backbone of the Richmond Range.
Spanning 166,000 hectares, it is the second largest forest park in New Zealand and is home to some of the steepest summits in the Top of the South.
Over 80% of the area is covered in dense manuka and kanuka forestry, and with rocky peaks that rise above 1700m, hikers are treated to outstanding views over the Wairau Plains, Tasman Bay and the inland Kaikoura Ranges. With peaks this high, the tracks that dissect the forest park are clearly not for the faint hearted, with many requiring an entire day of relentless climbing to reach the summit.
The Mount Richmond Forest Park has a deep and intriguing history of gold mining and timber milling, with evidence of early Māori occupation present in numerous argillite quarries, which were often used to make tools and weapons.
The closest access from Richmond is the Hackett Track, giving walkers the option to continue toward Nelson and explore the historic Dun Mountain Trail, or to join up with the Te Araroa Trail as it heads down to the Pelorus River or into the Richmond Ranges.
Photo credits: (1-6) Jenelle Strickland, (7) Andy Selwood, (8-10) Department of Conservation.