NELSON TRAILS

 

Hacket Track

Mt Richmond Forest Park

Hacket Track follows Hacket Creek through the fascinating Dun Mountain Mineral Belt and gives access to Whispering Falls, historic chromite mines and tramping tracks deeper in Mt Richmond Forest Park. It’s a great option for a half-day walk or as an easy overnight tramp, with Hacket Hut and Browning Hut being the second and third closest huts to Nelson respectively. Hacket Track, Hacket Hut and Hacket Creek are named after Thomas Ridge Hacket (1830-84), a Nelson geologist who was the director of Dun Mountain Mining Company for a time, and also owned land in nearby Serpentine Valley.

Details
Length5.7 km one way to Hacket Hut; 8.1 km one way to Browning Hut
Time Required2 hr one way to Hacket Hut; 2 hr 15 min return to Whispering Falls; 3 hr one way to Browning Hut
Trail TypeGravel road/Tramping track
Physical DifficultyModerate   
UsesWalking, trail running and MTB
DirectionEither
Start Elevation120 m (Hacket car park)
Finish Elevation270 m (Hacket Hut)
Dog AccessPermit required for Mt Richmond Forest Park; see Nelson DOC office

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Contact

Hacket Track is administered by the Department of Conservation (DOC). The nearest DOC office is located in Nelson.

 

Nelson Visitor Centre

Address: Millers Acre, 79 Trafalgar St, Nelson

Phone: 03 546 9339

Email: nelsonvc@doc.govt.nz

 

View hut ticket retailers

Access

  30 min from Nelson

 

Hacket track begins at Hacket car park, in the Aniseed Valley. From Richmond, head south along State Highway 6 and turn left onto Aniseed Valley Rd. Follow the road over Aniseed Hill, and then for a further 8 km up Aniseed Valley, until you see the DOC sign indicating the turnoff to the car park on the right. There are toilets at the car park and a bridge across Roding River, beneath which there is a great swimming hole to cool off in during summer. Next to the bridge you will find an information panel with a map and track details.

Description




Hacket Track bridges Roding River at the car park and heads east up Hacket Valley, following the true right of Hacket Creek through pine forest. A suspension bridge crosses the creek and the road becomes a walking track, continuing on the true left. The track enters the Dun Mountain Mineral Belt, where the surrounding vegetation becomes stunted scrub dominated by manuka, and outcrops of ultramafic rock jut out from the hillside, namely Dunite, Rodingite and Serpentinite. Hacket creek has undercut the true left bank, resulting in part of the track being washed away; a semi-permanent alignment detours around this section, which requires cares when crossing. After 2.7 km Whispering Falls track forks to the left.

 

Whispering Falls forks to the north of Hacket Track and immediately crosses Hacket Creek just above its confluence with Miner Creek. Note that the bridge that crossed Hacket Creek was washed away in a flood in 2013 and is yet to be replaced. The creek will be impassable following rain. The track continues along the true left of Miner Creek and then bridges it; this roughly marks the geological boundary between the mineral belt and a sedimentary belt named Wooded Peak limestone, which is mainly composed of sandstone. The track climbs up over water-formed travertine terraces and through lush podocarp forest to Whispering Falls. A form of limestone, travertine has precipitated out of an unnamed stream to form a spectacular rock face and moss-covered overhangs, from which numerous trickles of water quietly fall. The falls are particularly spectacular following rain, and when soil moisture is high during the colder months. Above the falls is a clearing with a picnic table that has good views across the scrubby hills of the mineral belt and further east to Mt Starveall. Return the way you came.

 

Hacket Track continues along Hacket Creek and the mineral belt scrub is replaced by a douglas fir plantation, which continues for the rest of the 2.6 km to Hacket Hut. Another fork in track is reached 1 km before the hut, where Browning Track heads left toward Browning Hut (3.1 km away). Browning Track is the main track for trampers who have come from Rocks Hut or Pelorus Valley and are finishing at Hacket car park.

 

Cross the bridge over Hacket Creek and you will reach Hacket Hut, which stands in a grassy clearing. The hut has limited capacity, though there is plenty of room for tents outside.

Hacket Hut
Hut TypeStandard Hut
Capacity6 bunks
BookingsNot required; first in, first served
Fee1 Standard Hut Ticket
FacilitiesWoodburner, mattresses, plenty of space for tents outside
Altitude270 m

Hacket Track ends at the hut clearing and is replaced by Te Araroa Trail, which continues to the east and south.

 

Head east to connect with Browning Track and loop back to Hacket Track (at the fork described in the paragraph above), or continue on to Browning Hut (Browning Track doubles as Te Araroa Track along this section). South of Hacket Hut, Te Araroa Trail continues as a challenging tramping track (known as the Richmond Alpine section), climbing to Starveall Hut (4-5 hrs away). This track has multiple creek crossings and reaches high elevation, and should not be attempted by those without proper preparation and equipment.

Hacket Track
Mt Richmond Forest Park

Hacket Track follows Hacket Creek through the fascinating Dun Mountain Mineral Belt and gives access to Whispering Falls, historic chromite mines and tramping tracks deeper in Mt Richmond Forest Park. It’s a great option for a half-day walk or as an easy overnight tramp, with Hacket Hut and Browning Hut being the second and third closest huts to Nelson respectively. Hacket Track, Hacket Hut and Hacket Creek are named after Thomas Ridge Hacket (1830-84), a Nelson geologist who was the director of Dun Mountain Mining Company for a time, and also owned land in nearby Serpentine Valley.

Details
Length5.7 km one way Hacket car park to Hacket Hut; 8.1 km one way Hacket car park to Browning Hut
Time Required2 hr one way to Hacket Hut; 2 hr 15 min return to Whispering Falls; 3 hr one way to Browning Hut
Trail TypeGravel road/Tramping track
Physical DifficultyModerate   
UsesWalking, trail running and MTB
DirectionEither
Start Elevation120 m (Hacket car park)
Finish Elevation270 m (Hacket Hut)
Dog AccessPermit required for Mt Richmond Forest Park; see Nelson DOC office

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Access

  30 min from Nelson

 

Hacket track begins at Hacket car park, in the Aniseed Valley. From Richmond, head south along State Highway 6 and turn left onto Aniseed Valley Rd. Follow the road over Aniseed Hill, and then for a further 8 km up Aniseed Valley, until you see the DOC sign indicating the turnoff to the car park on the right. There are toilets at the car park and a bridge across Roding River, beneath which there is a great swimming hole to cool off in during summer. Next to the bridge you will find an information panel with a map and track details.




 

Description

Hacket Track bridges Roding River at the car park and heads east up Hacket Valley, following the true right of Hacket Creek through pine forest. A suspension bridge crosses the creek and the road becomes a walking track, continuing on the true left. The track enters the Dun Mountain Mineral Belt, where the surrounding vegetation becomes stunted scrub dominated by manuka, and outcrops of ultramafic rock jut out from the hillside, namely Dunite, Rodingite and Serpentinite. Hacket creek has undercut the true left bank, resulting in part of the track being washed away; a semi-permanent alignment detours around this section, which requires cares when crossing. After 2.7 km Whispering Falls track forks to the left.

 

Whispering Falls forks to the north of Hacket Track and immediately crosses Hacket Creek just above its confluence with Miner Creek. Note that the bridge that crossed Hacket Creek was washed away in a flood in 2013 and is yet to be replaced. The creek will be impassable following rain. The track continues along the true left of Miner Creek and then bridges it; this roughly marks the geological boundary between the mineral belt and a sedimentary belt named Wooded Peak limestone, which is mainly composed of sandstone. The track climbs up over water-formed travertine terraces and through lush podocarp forest to Whispering Falls. A form of limestone, travertine has precipitated out of an unnamed stream to form a spectacular rock face and moss-covered overhangs, from which numerous trickles of water quietly fall. The falls are particularly spectacular following rain, and when soil moisture is high during the colder months. Above the falls is a clearing with a picnic table that has good views across the scrubby hills of the mineral belt and further east to Mt Starveall. Return the way you came.

 

Hacket Track continues along Hacket Creek and the mineral belt scrub is replaced by a douglas fir plantation, which continues for the rest of the 2.6 km to Hacket Hut. Another fork in track is reached 1 km before the hut, where Browning Track heads left toward Browning Hut (3.1 km away). Browning Track is the main track for trampers who have come from Rocks Hut or Pelorus Valley and are finishing at Hacket car park.

 

Cross the bridge over Hacket Creek and you will reach Hacket Hut, which stands in a grassy clearing. The hut has limited capacity, though there is plenty of room for tents outside.

 

Hacket Hut
Hut TypeStandard Hut
Capacity6 bunks
BookingsNot required; first in, first served
Fee1 Standard Hut Ticket
FacilitiesWoodburner, mattresses, plenty of space for tents outside
Altitude270 m

 

Hacket Track ends at the hut clearing and is replaced by Te Araroa Trail, which continues to the east and south.

 

Head east to connect with Browning Track and loop back to Hacket Track (at the fork described in the paragraph above), or continue on to Browning Hut (Browning Track doubles as Te Araroa Track along this section). South of Hacket Hut, Te Araroa Trail continues as a challenging tramping track (known as the Richmond Alpine section), climbing to Starveall Hut (4-5 hrs away). This track has multiple creek crossings and reaches high elevation, and should not be attempted by those without proper preparation and equipment.




 

Old Chrome Road Circuit

Mt Richmond Forest Park

Old Chrome Road is a historic road constructed to transport ore from the chromite mines situated just off Hacket Track. The circuit branches off Hacket Track and climbs to the chromite mining area, then traces the road to Serpentine Saddle.

Details
Length9 km return from Hacket car park; 3.7 km circuit back to Hacket Track
Trail TypeTramping track
Physical DifficultyModerate   
UsesWalking
DirectionEither
Max Elevation400 m (Serpentine Saddle)
Dog AccessPermit required for Mt Richmond Forest Park; see Nelson DOC office

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Connections

Aside from Hacket Track, this circuit does not connect to any other official tracks.

Access

  30 min from Nelson

 

Hacket track begins at Hacket car park, in the Aniseed Valley. From Richmond, head south along State Highway 6 and turn left onto Aniseed Valley Rd. Follow the road over Aniseed Hill, and then for a further 8 km up Aniseed Valley, until you see the DOC sign indicating the turnoff to the car park on the right. There are toilets at the car park and a bridge across Roding River, beneath which there is a great swimming hole to cool off in during summer. Next to the bridge you will find an information panel with a map and track details.

 

Old Chrome Road Circuit is a loop track beginning and ending on Hacket Track. Therefore it is only accessible via Hacket Track.

Description




Almost immediately after the turnoff to Whispering Falls, Chromite Mines Track branches off to the right. The rocky track heads up Chromite Creek Gully, through mineral belt scrub and wilding pines. The mining area is 1 km up the track, and consists of spoil piles, shallow open trenches and drives, most of which have long-since collapsed. There is at least one surviving drive that you can enter (at your own risk). Some of these mines are home to cave wētā, which have been known to leap on you when you shine a torch on them! The drives and trenches were constructed in the 1860s to extract chromite, though the small mineral resource meant they were never very profitable, and when the chromium price dropped due to the collapse of the cotton trade, production ceased. You can return the way you came back to Hacket Track, or continue upwards onto Old Chrome Road.

 

Old Chrome Road begins above the mines reaching the head of the gully and contouring the hillside high above Hacket Creek. The road, now just a rough track, was built in the 1860s to service the chromite mines, and the stacked rock of the road formation can still be seen on the track edge in places. The old road is seldom-visited compared to the popular Hacket Track in the valley below, and consequently the gorse and scrub are prone to becoming overgrown. The road reaches Serpentine Saddle (400 m elevation) 1.7 km beyond the mines. Old Chrome Road drops steeply west into Serpentine Valley through private land; it is thought that this route to the mines was chosen over the route Hacket Track follows to minimise the number of crossings of Roding River and Hacket Creek.

 

The circuit track back to Hacket Track was created in recent years by the Waimea Tramping Club. This track heads north from the saddle, descending through pine and then dropping steeply into Hacket Creek valley, joining the main track about 1 km upstream of the suspension bridge.

Old Chrome Road Circuit
Mt Richmond Forest Park

Old Chrome Road is a historic road constructed to transport ore from the chromite mines situated just off Hacket Track. The circuit branches off Hacket Track and climbs to the chromite mining area, then traces the road to Serpentine Saddle.

Details
Length9 km return from Hacket car park; 3.7 km circuit back to Hacket Track
Trail TypeTramping track
Physical DifficultyModerate   
UsesWalking
DirectionEither
Max Elevation400 m (Serpentine Saddle)
Dog AccessPermit required for Mt Richmond Forest Park; see Nelson DOC office

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

 

Access

  30 min from Nelson

 

Hacket track begins at Hacket car park, in the Aniseed Valley. From Richmond, head south along State Highway 6 and turn left onto Aniseed Valley Rd. Follow the road over Aniseed Hill, and then for a further 8 km up Aniseed Valley, until you see the DOC sign indicating the turnoff to the car park on the right. There are toilets at the car park and a bridge across Roding River, beneath which there is a great swimming hole to cool off in during summer. Next to the bridge you will find an information panel with a map and track details.

 

Old Chrome Road Circuit is a loop track beginning and ending on Hacket Track. Therefore it is only accessible via Hacket Track.




 

Description

Almost immediately after the turnoff to Whispering Falls, Chromite Mines Track branches off to the right. The rocky track heads up Chromite Creek Gully, through mineral belt scrub and wilding pines. The mining area is 1 km up the track, and consists of spoil piles, shallow open trenches and drives, most of which have long-since collapsed. There is at least one surviving drive that you can enter (at your own risk). Some of these mines are home to cave wētā, which have been known to leap on you when you shine a torch on them! The drives and trenches were constructed in the 1860s to extract chromite, though the small mineral resource meant they were never very profitable, and when the chromium price dropped due to the collapse of the cotton trade, production ceased. You can return the way you came back to Hacket Track, or continue upwards onto Old Chrome Road.

 

Old Chrome Road begins above the mines reaching the head of the gully and contouring the hillside high above Hacket Creek. The road, now just a rough track, was built in the 1860s to service the chromite mines, and the stacked rock of the road formation can still be seen on the track edge in places. The old road is seldom-visited compared to the popular Hacket Track in the valley below, and consequently the gorse and scrub are prone to becoming overgrown. The road reaches Serpentine Saddle (400 m elevation) 1.7 km beyond the mines. Old Chrome Road drops steeply west into Serpentine Valley through private land; it is thought that this route to the mines was chosen over the route Hacket Track follows to minimise the number of crossings of Roding River and Hacket Creek.

 

The circuit track back to Hacket Track was created in recent years by the Waimea Tramping Club. This track heads north from the saddle, descending through pine and then dropping steeply into Hacket Creek valley, joining the main track about 1 km upstream of the suspension bridge.




 

Connections

Aside from Hacket Track, this circuit does not connect to any other official tracks.

 

Updated 18 February 2019