Great South Island Day Rides: Dun Mountain Trail

dun mountain trailLooking for a decent leg workout? Then put Nelson’s Dun Mountain Trail on your to-do list. This one-day loop climbs to a height of 878m along New Zealand’s first railway line before descending back down to Nelson.

The early part of the ride takes you through Codgers Mountain Bike Park and mature beech forest. The gradient is shallow and constant, but there are plenty of information boards along the way to give you an excuse for a break! Another good pitstop option is the hut at Third House, where you’ll find fresh water.

Near Windy Point (which is appropriately named), the trail opens out onto the mountain tops, giving you stunning views across Tasman Bay. Coppermine Saddle is the highest point of the ride, and from there it’s downhill all the way back to Nelson.

You’ll be navigating loose rocky terrain for the first 10km of the descent (definitely more suited to a full suspension bike.) Sections here are narrow with deep drainage ditches on either side. After crossing Maitai River the going gets easier, with the last 11km of the ride following the river into the heart of Nelson.

Useful information:

  • The trail starts about 1km along Brook Street, 3km from the Nelson CBD. The start is well sign-posted and there are various car parking options in the vicinity.
  • Total trail distance is 43km, and should take around 4-6 hours to complete.
  • The Dun Mountain Trail is a grade 3 to 4 trail, best suited to fit and experienced off-road bikers.

While you’re in Nelson, make sure you pop into The Bike Station on Vanguard Street. As well as all the usual services you’d expect from a bike shop, they also serve excellent coffee and food. It’s a great place to swap biking stories and get some insider knowledge of the local area.

Drop us an email if you’d like to organise bike hire for this ride. It’s also a good option if you’re roadtripping around New Zealand with a combined camper and bike hire.

Have a great week,

P.S. Our Auckland and Christchurch branches will be closed on Tuesday 25 April for Anzac Day.

Image: Steve Bittinger.