Beebys Knob

Beebys Knob
Mount Richmond Forest Park


Beebys Knob (1442 m) is a peak in the southwestern corner of Mount Richmond Forest Park, near St Arnaud. A return trip to the summit is a good half-day walk or MTB ride, and Beebys Hut provides the option for overnight stays.

There are two access routes; a walking track, and a 4WD road/MTB singletrack, the latter providing the option to ride. Maitland Ridge Track, which is now used as Te Araroa Trail, connects Beebys Range with Red Hills Hut, allowing circuits between the two.

 

Map Viewer

 Trail Access

There are two ways to reach the summit of Beebys Knob and Beebys Hut; a walking track and a 4WD road/MTB singletrack. The walking track is suitable for walking only, while the 4WD/singletrack is suitable for both walking and MTB.

Beebys Knob Walking Track: Korere-Tophouse Road

The track starts at a small car park on the left side (if you’re heading south) of Korere-Tophouse Road, 62 km south of Nelson (6.9 km south of Kikiwa and 6.5 km north of the State Highway 63 junction). The turnoff is in a tricky location on a sweeping left bend in the road. Look for the DOC sign and make a sharp left turn onto the gravel road that leads to the car park. There is a closed gate (unlocked) that you will need to open. Allow 1 hr to get to the track start from Nelson

Beebys Knob 4WD Road and Wots Up Doc: Tophouse Road

Beebys 4WD road begins at the Wairau Valley end of Tophouse Road, 69 km south of Nelson. Allow 1 hr 15 min to get to the track start from Nelson. The 4WD road traverses the entire ridge, giving vehicle access all the way to Beebys Hut. You can park on Tophouse Rd, however, if you’re riding the Maitland Ridge-Red Hills Hut circuit, a good idea is to park at the Red Hills Road car park. This way you’ll get the necessary ride along State Highway 63 out of the way first. There is a locked gate at the start of the road, though there is seasonal vehicle access (1 December – 30 April) and you can obtain a permit and gate key from Nelson Lakes DOC Centre.

 

 Trail Descriptions
 Beebys Knob via Beebys Knob Walking Track
Length:  7.8 km one way to Beebys Hut Time Required:  2-3 hr one way to summit;  3-4 hr one way to Beebys Hut
Trail Type:  Walking track Physical Difficulty:  Hard   
Uses:  Walking and trail running Primary Direction:  Either
Start Elevation:  610 m Max Elevation:  1442 m
Length:  7.8 km one way to Beebys Hut
Time Required:  2-3 hr one way to summit;  3-4 hr one way to Beebys Hut
Trail Type:  Walking track
Physical Difficulty:  Hard   
Uses:  Walking and trail running
Primary Direction:  Either
Start Elevation:  610 m
Max Elevation:  1442 m

From the car park the track sidles through beech forest up the side of a ridge. The track is a little rough, so sturdy footwear is recommended. The track reaches a wide saddle, with beautiful beech forest and mossy logs littering the forest floor, before climbing steeply up the side of broad spur. Once on the crest of the spur, the gradient lessens, and the track climbs gently toward the top of the main range, with the silver beech getting progressively shorter and thinner with altitude.

Beebys Walking Track connects with Beebys 4WD road at the top of range. Turn left here and follow the road as it soon reaches the turnoff to Maitland Ridge Track at the tree line. Beebys 4WD road continues along the range through open tussock and alpine herbs. The summit is 1.8 km beyond the Maitland Ridge turnoff; it is not signposted, though you will see the trig and a group of transmitters. The summit is a rounded knob and will require you take a short deviation off the 4WD road.

The 4WD road continues for quite a distance along the range. Beebys Hut is a further 1.8 km beyond the summit, located alongside the bush edge on the eastern side of the range.

 

Beebys Hut
Hut Type:  Standard Hut Capacity:  6 bunks
Bookings:  Not required: first in, first served Fee:  1 Standard Hut ticket
Facilities:  Woodburner, mattresses, plenty of space for tents outside Altitude:  1316 m

 

If you’re on foot, return the way you came back to the car park on Korere-Tophouse Rd. Alternatively you can descend via Beebys 4WD road or Maitland Ridge Track to Red Hills Hut (both described below) though you will need two cars for this as you’ll be at least 7 km along the road from where you started.

 

 

 Beebys Knob via 4WD Road or Wots up Doc
Length:  5.8 km one way to summit;  7.6 km one way to Beebys Hut Time Required:  1 hr 30 min – 2 hr one way to summit;   2 hr 30 min – 3 hr one way to Beebys Hut
Trail Type:  4WD road/Singletrack Physical Difficulty:  Hard   
Uses:  Walking, trail running and MTB Primary Direction:  Either
Start Elevation:  710 m Max Elevation:  1442 m
Length:  5.8 km one way to summit;  7.6 km one way to Beebys Hut
Time Required:  1 hr 30 min – 2 hr one way to summit;   2 hr 30 min – 3 hr one way to Beebys Hut
Trail Type:  4WD road/Singletrack
Physical Difficulty:  Hard   
Uses:  Walking, trail running and MTB
Primary Direction:  Either
Start Elevation:  710 m
Max Elevation:  1442 m

The 4WD road zig-zags steeply up the southern through scrub. Most of it is rideable, but there are sections that are too steep. The road was originally built to access the plantation forest further along the range. MTB Trails Trust have constructed a complimentary uphill singletrack called Wots up Doc that runs parallel to the 4WD road; this is a friendlier gradient than the road and is the sensible way to ascend if you’re riding.

On the crest of the range the road skirts in and out of beech forest and reaches a junction with the Beebys Knob Walking Track. The signposted turnoff to Maitland Ridge Track is reached soon after (connecting with Red Hills Hut, 7.9 km away). Continue along the 4WD road to the summit and Beebys Hut.

If you’re on your bike you will have to return the way you came, or head down Maitland Ridge and Red Hills 4WD road to return to Tophouse Rd.

 

 Maitland Ridge Track
Length:  7.9 km;  full circuit incl. Beebys 4WD road and Red Hills 4WD road is 22.5 km
Time Required:  3-4 hr (full circuit) Trail Type:  Singletrack/4WD road
Physical Difficulty:  Moderate    Technical Difficulty:  Advanced   
Uses:  Walking, trail running and MTB Primary Direction:  Downhill for MTB, either for walkers and runners
Start Elevation:  1330 m Finish Elevation:  910 m (Red Hills Hut)
Links to: Red Hills Hut (Te Araroa Trail)
Length:  7.9 km;  full circuit incl. Beebys 4WD road and Red Hills 4WD road is 22.5 km
Time Required:  3-4 hr (full circuit)
Trail Type:  Singletrack/4WD road
Physical Difficulty:  Moderate   
Technical Difficulty:  Advanced   
Uses:  Walking, trail running and MTB
Primary Direction:  Downhill for MTB, either for walkers and runners
Start Elevation:  1330 m
Finish Elevation:  910 m (Red Hills Hut)
Links to: Red Hills Hut (Te Araroa Trail)

Maitland Ridge Track was developed by the MTB Trails Trust. The trail connects Beebys 4WD Road with the 4WD road that climbs to Red Hills Hut, creating a 23 km circuit. The track traverses the beech-forested ridge between the two, and offers intermediate to advanced grade singletrack riding.

The trail start is signposted on Beebys 4WD road. The Maitland Ridge Track descends nearly non-stop through stunted mountain beech to a saddle at 1020 m elevation. The track climbs gradually through a series of zig-zags toward point 1202 m, passing clearings that allow impressive views across Wairau Valley to Raglan Range. After point 1202 m the track goes through a slightly-technical descent, before crossing another saddle and climbing again to the top of the final descent, an old 4WD road down to Red Hills Hut.

 

Red Hills Hut
Hut Type:  Standard Hut Capacity:  6 bunks
Bookings:  Not required: first in, first served Fee:   1 Standard Hut ticket
Facilities:  Mattresses only (no heating) Altitude:  910 m

 

Continue down the 4WD road from Red Hills Hut and connect with State Highway 63. You will need to ride along the highway and turn right onto Tophouse Rd to return to where you started.

Maitland Ridge Track (and Beebys Knob 4WD Road) now double as the Te Araroa Trail; this is a safety improvement, as trampers previously had to walk along State Highway 63 when they got to the bottom of Red Hills 4WD road. MTB Trails Trust has plans for further development of trails, including a trail along the base of the range to link the downhill end of Red Hills 4WD road with Tophouse Rd, which will remove the need to ride along the highway.

 

 Trail Safety

Be sure to let someone know your intentions before you go, and record your visit in Beebys Hut book. Beebys Knob is a highly-exposed alpine route, so proper preparation and care is essential to ensure a safe trip. Check the Nelson Lakes alpine weather forecast before you go; do not rely on the weather forecast for Nelson or Blenheim, as the alpine weather in the Richmond Ranges are likely to be very different. Make sure you carry plenty of water with you as there are no water sources aside from Beebys Hut and Red Hills Hut.

 

 Further Reading

MTB Trails Trust Website

Comments are closed.