NELSON TRAILS

Canaan Loop Track

Canaan Downs Scenic Reserve

Canaan Loop Track circumnavigates Pikikirunga / Canaan Downs, which is surrounded by Abel Tasman National Park. The track is excellent for mountainbiking and trail running, and provides and interesting perspective of the karst topography of Canaan Downs.

Details
Length14 km (full loop back to car park)
Time Required1 hr 30 min (MTB, full loop back to car park)
Trail TypeShared track
Physical DifficultyModerate   
Technical DifficultyIntermediate   
UsesWalking, trail running and MTB
DirectionEither
Start Elevation750 m
Max Elevation930 m
Dog AccessDogs are prohibited in Canaan Downs Scenic Reserve


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Access

  1 hr 30 min from Nelson

 

From Nelson, follow State Highway 60 to the top of Takaka Hill. Turn right onto Canaan Road, which is just past the Ngarua Cave turnoff. Canaan Road is unsealed, windy and narrow, so drive with caution. It is 11 km from the turnoff to Canaan Downs car park, which is situated at 750 m elevation. It is also the start point for Harwoods Hole Track, Rameka Track and trips along the Inland Track.

 

Canaan Loop Track is mainly within Canaan Downs Scenic Reserve, which itself is completely surrounded by Abel Tasman National Park. Be aware that parts of the reserve are leased for grazing; be respectful of property and livestock, and leave gates as you found them.

Description

From the car park, head along Moa Park Track as it climbs steadily along the forest edge above the farmland of Canaan Downs. Pages Saddle is 1 km from the car park, where Rameka Track forks to the left. The track continues for another 2 km in and out of native bush, before reaching Wainui Saddle, where there is a track junction between Wainui Track and Moa Park Track. This where Canaan Loop Track splits off from Moa Park Track.

 

From Wainui Saddle, Canaan Loop Track sidles the hillside beneath the western slopes of Mt Evans. The track winds through open pasture and low scrub, passing through a couple of forested stream gullies. The track builders have utilised natural features in clever ways; flat granite boulders have been used to pave creek crossings and in some sections dead tree trunks have been filled with granite chip to create raised singletrack through the pasture. You will pass through an area of long-dead tree trunks signposted as ‘Log City’, after which the track crosses Gold Creek and climbs up to a saddle at the highest part of the loop (930 m). Here you’ll enjoy great views west across the downs and further to the inner ranges of Golden Bay. The track descends through an area called Big Burn, then climbs slightly around a forested hillock, before dropping down to meet Gold Creek again (where Gold Creek Loop connects on the right). For the next two kilometres back to the car park, the track winds through two really nice sections of remnant beech forest.

 

You may find that some parts of the track are difficult to follow, especially where other farm tracks branch off in different directions. Pay close attention to the orange markers and green poles.

 

Gold Creek Loop

As a shorter alternative to Canaan Loop Track, Gold Creek Loop can also be completed from Canaan Downs car park. The 4.6 km shared track starts and finishes at the car park and passes through pasture and beech forest.

Short Walks

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Day Walks

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Tramping

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Biking

Canaan Loop Track
Canaan Downs Scenic Reserve

Canaan Loop Track circumnavigates Pikikirunga / Canaan Downs, which is surrounded by Abel Tasman National Park. The track is excellent for mountainbiking and trail running, and provides and interesting perspective of the karst topography of Canaan Downs.

Details
Length14 km (full loop back to car park)
Time Required1 hr 30 min (MTB, full loop back to car park)
Trail TypeShared track
Physical DifficultyModerate   
Technical DifficultyIntermediate   
UsesWalking, trail running and MTB
DirectionEither
Start Elevation750 m
Max Elevation930 m
Dog AccessDogs are prohibited in Canaan Downs Scenic Reserve


If any layers fail to load, try clearing your cache and refreshing the page.

 

Access

  1 hr 30 min from Nelson

 

From Nelson, follow State Highway 60 to the top of Takaka Hill. Turn right onto Canaan Road, which is just past the Ngarua Cave turnoff. Canaan Road is unsealed, windy and narrow, so drive with caution. It is 11 km from the turnoff to Canaan Downs car park, which is situated at 750 m elevation. It is also the start point for Harwoods Hole Track, Rameka Track and trips along the Inland Track.

 

Canaan Loop Track is mainly within Canaan Downs Scenic Reserve, which itself is completely surrounded by Abel Tasman National Park. Be aware that parts of the reserve are leased for grazing; be respectful of property and livestock, and leave gates as you found them.

Description

From the car park, head along Moa Park Track as it climbs steadily along the forest edge above the farmland of Canaan Downs. Pages Saddle is 1 km from the car park, where Rameka Track forks to the left. The track continues for another 2 km in and out of native bush, before reaching Wainui Saddle, where there is a track junction between Wainui Track and Moa Park Track. This where Canaan Loop Track splits off from Moa Park Track.

 

From Wainui Saddle, Canaan Loop Track sidles the hillside beneath the western slopes of Mt Evans. The track winds through open pasture and low scrub, passing through a couple of forested stream gullies. The track builders have utilised natural features in clever ways; flat granite boulders have been used to pave creek crossings and in some sections dead tree trunks have been filled with granite chip to create raised singletrack through the pasture. You will pass through an area of long-dead tree trunks signposted as ‘Log City’, after which the track crosses Gold Creek and climbs up to a saddle at the highest part of the loop (930 m). Here you’ll enjoy great views west across the downs and further to the inner ranges of Golden Bay. The track descends through an area called Big Burn, then climbs slightly around a forested hillock, before dropping down to meet Gold Creek again (where Gold Creek Loop connects on the right). For the next two kilometres back to the car park, the track winds through two really nice sections of remnant beech forest.

 

You may find that some parts of the track are difficult to follow, especially where other farm tracks branch off in different directions. Pay close attention to the orange markers and green poles.

 

Gold Creek Loop

As a shorter alternative to Canaan Loop Track, Gold Creek Loop can also be completed from Canaan Downs car park. The 4.6 km shared track starts and finishes at the car park and passes through pasture and beech forest.

Updated 18 August 2020