Maitai River Walkway

Maitai River Walkway


Maitai River Walkway follows the Maitai River through central Nelson. The walkway begins at the Maitai River mouth and extends for eight kilometres to Maitai Motor Camp in the Maitai Valley, passing through a mixture of urban and natural surroundings along the way. The walkway is a great option in summer as there are many swimming holes and picnic spots to stop at.

The walkway is open to both walkers and bikers, though as it is busy and narrow in parts, great care and attention should be taken by those on their bikes.

 Trail Details

Length:  8.1 km (Rutherford Park to Maitai Motor Camp) Time Required:  1 hr 30 min for walkers, 30 min for MTB
Trail Type:  Shared pathway/Walking track Physical Difficulty:  Easy
Uses:  Walking, running and MTB Primary Direction:  Either
Start Elevation:  2 m Finish Elevation:  45 m
Links to:  Botanical Hill Tracks, Codgers MTB Park, Dun Mountain Trail


Maitai River Walkway can be accessed at numerous locations in the central city. Good starting points for long walks are Rutherford Park, Millers Acre and Riverside Pool. The walkway can be completed as a return trip, or you can combine it with other tracks to create a longer loop route (Botanical Hill and Tantragee Saddle are good options). At the upstream end of the walkway there are two car parks on each respective side of the motor camp.


 Trail Description

Beginning at the Maitai River mouth where QE2 Drive bridge crosses, the walkway begins as a wide promenade alongside Rutherford Park, with terraces stepping down to the river. The walkway passes crosses Trafalgar St, passes Nelson Visitor Centre at Millers Acre, then goes beneath the Collingwood Street Bridge and reaches Riverside Pool, where there is a footbridge across to Halifax Street East.

Beyond Riverside the walkway goes beneath Bridge Street bridge and runs parallel with Domett Street to Hardy Street, where there is a pedestrian bridge crossing the river to Hardy Street East (giving quick access to Botanical Hill). The walkway reaches Nile Street soon after.

Beyond Nile Street the walkway is unsealed and climbs slightly, adjacent Girlies swimming hole before following the river bend and going beneath Nile Street again (Cloustons Bridge). The track follows the top of a stop bank through Hanby Park and a boardwalk sidles the rock face above Black swimming hole. Maitai Valley Road is passed beneath and the walkway weaves between native plantings past Dennes swimming hole around the Maitai Cricket Ground, before reaching the Maitai Valley road again. The walkway passes Sunday swimming hole and crosses pasture (where the downhill ends of Smasher and Hotbox DH tracks emerge), before running alongside Waahi Taakaro Golf Course and then Maitai Aboretum, across the river from the Maitai Motor Camp (where the Maitai Camp swimming hole is located). At the end of the walkway a footbridge crosses the river to Maitai Valley Road, where there is a small car park.


 Trail Images

 Useful Links and Further Reading

Maitai River swimming water quality – Land, Air and Water Aotearoa

NCC Maitai River updates

Friends of the Maitai

Maitai Valley, NelsonThe Prow article

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