Inwood Lookout

Inwood Lookout


Inwood Lookout is a point on the Gordon Range, south of Belgrove, so-named because of the fire lookout built to watch over Golden Downs Forest. The road to the lookout, Wai-iti Road, is physically demanding and offers a great hill climb for trail runners and mountain bikers. The lookout borders Mt Richmond Forest Park and is a starting point for climbing Gordons Knob and tramping to Hunters Hut and Red Hill.

Inwood Lookout and nearby Inwood Saddle are named after Harold Richard Seymour Inwood, who purchased land on the western side of the ridge in 1910 (though he may have had an even earlier association with the area).

 

 Trail Details
Length:  8.7 km one way to lookout (Wai-iti Rd);  13 km return to Gordons Knob from lookout;  7.9 km one way lookout to Hunters Hut
Uses:  Trail running and MTB Trail Type:  4WD road
Start Elevation:  340 m Max Elevation:  1025 m
Physical Difficulty:  Hard    Links to:  Gordons Knob, Te Araroa Trail (Hunters Hut)
Length:  8.7 km one way to lookout (Wai-iti Rd);  13 km return to Gordons Knob from lookout;  7.9 km one way lookout to Hunters Hut
Uses:  Trail running and MTB
Trail Type:  4WD road
Physical Difficulty:  Hard   
Start Elevation:  340 m
Max Elevation:  1025 m
Links to:  Gordons Knob, Te Araroa Trail (Hunters Hut)
Map Viewer

 Trail Access

Head south from Nelson along State Highway 6. Just past Belgrove turn left onto Wai-iti Valley Road (the main road to St Arnaud from Nelson). The turnoff to Inwood Lookout is approximately 11 km from Belgrove (see map and Access tab above). Allow 45 min to reach Wai-iti Road turnoff from Nelson.

Please see Mt Richmond Forest Park access to check for road closures before you go.

 

 Trail Description

The forestry road to the lookout is called Wai-iti Road and is suitable for 4WD vehicles only. Wai-iti Road heads through recently-felled pine and beneath power pylons, then climbs northwards up the side of the ridge to 750 m elevation and turns south, climbing straight along the top of the ridge all the way to the lookout (the average gradient is 8%). Be cautious of 4WD vehicles and motorbikes coming up and down the road.

The fire lookout is located on an open grass flat. It is easy to see why this position was selected for the lookout; there are stunning views west to Mt Owen and north toward Tasman Bay, with Golden Downs Forest taking up much of the field of view. The lookout is no longer manned and now also hosts a telecommunications tower. The site is also used as a launch point for hang-gliders.

The road end at Inwood Lookout is a starting point for tramps into Mt Richmond Forest Park, particularly circuits taking in Red Hill and Wairoa Valley. A tramping track heads south along the ridge from the lookout, eventually linking up with Te Araroa Trail near Hunters Hut. Inwood Lookout provides the most straight-forward access to Gordons Knob (1592 m).

 

 Trail Images

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