Dun Mountain Trail
- Walks & Hikes
Based on the line of New Zealand’s first railway which was in operation between 1862 and 1901, the Dun Mountain Trail is popular with walkers, trail-runners and cyclists. The 38km trail links Brook Valley with the Maitai Valley and reaches an elevation of 878m at Coppermine Saddle.
Dun Mountain is one of the most distinctive mountains around Nelson Tasman due to its unique geology. Characterised by it’s reddish brown soil, the mountain gained its name from the dunite rock that adorns its landscape. ‘Dun’ is the old English word for brown, and this, along with serpentine and other ultramafic rocks make up the mineral belt that stretches through the valley.
The bare rockface is reflective of the lack of nutrients in dunite soil and provides a stark contrast to the forested valleys that surround Dun Mountain. Nonetheless, the lack of vegetation provides stunning views of Tasman Bay as the trail emerges onto Windy Point and Coppermine Saddle.
Descending to the Maitai Dam, walkers can follow the pipeline of the Nelson City water supply to the lower Maitai Valley, or link up with various other tracks along the way. Popular connections include Fringed Hill, Black Diamond Ridge, Maungatapu Circuit and Maitai Caves.
How to get there: You can start your journey on the Dun Mountain Trail from Codgers Track in the Brook Valley, from the Maitai Dam, or from Tangatree Saddle en-route from the Maitai Valley.
Photo credits: Nelson City Council.