NELSON TRAILS

Mt Malita

Roding Water Reserve

Mt Malita (959 m) in Aniseed Valley is a challenging day walk within close range of the city. The summit is a hard slog involving nearly 800 m of elevation gain (at an average gradient of 15%), but you will be rewarded with stunning views of Tasman Bay and access to some intriguing limestone formations. Forestry road access to within short distance of the summit allows Mt Malita to be climbed by foot or bike.

Details
Length10.6 km return
Time Required4-5 hr return walking;   2-3 hr return running and MTB
Trail TypeForestry road
Physical DifficultyHard   
UsesWalking, trail running and MTB
Start Elevation180 m
Max Elevation959 m
Dog AccessDogs are prohibited in Roding Water Reserve


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Connections

Mt Malita Road does not connect to any other official tracks. Experienced parties may continue along the ridge from the summit to Mt Meares and further to Te Araroa Trail (south of Rocks Hut). There is also an unofficial route that follows the spur southwest from the summit, toward Whispering Falls (and Hacket car park).

Access

  40 min from Nelson

 

Head south from Richmond along State Highway 6 and turn left onto Aniseed Valley Rd at Hope. Go over Aniseed Hill, and continue the entire way up Aniseed Valley Rd (15 km), until you reach the Roding car park. After the Hacket car park turnoff the last 7 km are unsealed. Roding car park is also the start point for Champion Mine Circuit.

 

The track starts on the other side of Roding River; you must cross the river via the concrete ford as the swingbridge was washed away in Feb 2018. Make sure you fill out the intentions book, located at the information panel across the river from the car park.

 

Logging and high fire risk will close access.

Description

Once over Roding River head right on Summit Rd. After 1.2 km Old Malita Rd forks off to the right. Continue on Summit Rd as it continues winding steeply up through the pine forest for 2.5 km to 575 m elevation, at which point it reconnects with Old Malita Rd.

 

Summit Rd continues to a skid site at 725 m elevation, where the road splits three ways; Burridge Rd heads left, Spar Rd heads right, but to get to the summit, head up the unnamed rough-looking road that climbs straight up the spur through felled pine that is now overgrown with gorse. The next few hundred metres are steep. The road dips briefly into a low saddle that marks the end of the forestry block, and then climbs again through regenerating native trees and scrub.

 

The 4WD ends and a walking track climbs steeply up the bank on the left, heading straight up the hill through tall grass, limestone outcrops, and long-dead tree trunks and stumps. The summit is located at the top of the ridge next to the bush edge and is marked by a survey pipe in a limestone outcrop. Just south of the summit there is a locked two-bunk hut (owned by Nelson City Council) nestled next to the tree line.

 

Just below the summit there is a small concrete platform built in 1962 to support a telescope housed in a shelter. This was used by the University of Pennsylvania to investigate the suitability of Mt Malita as a site for an astronomical observatory. Too much light pollution from Nelson and Richmond prevented this from becoming a reality, and instead Mt John near Lake Tekapo was selected as a more appropriate location.

 

Return the way you came.

Short Walks

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Day Walks

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Tramping

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Biking

Mt Malita
Roding Water Reserve

Mt Malita (959 m) in Aniseed Valley is a challenging day walk within close range of the city. The summit is a hard slog involving nearly 800 m of elevation gain (at an average gradient of 15%), but you will be rewarded with stunning views of Tasman Bay and access to some intriguing limestone formations. Forestry road access to within short distance of the summit allows Mt Malita to be climbed by foot or bike.

Details
Length10.6 km return
Time Required4-5 hr return walking;   2-3 hr return running and MTB
Trail TypeForestry road
Physical DifficultyHard   
UsesWalking, trail running and MTB
Start Elevation180 m
Max Elevation959 m
Dog AccessDogs are prohibited in Roding Water Reserve


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

 

Access

  40 min from Nelson

 

Head south from Richmond along State Highway 6 and turn left onto Aniseed Valley Rd at Hope. Go over Aniseed Hill, and continue the entire way up Aniseed Valley Rd (15 km), until you reach the Roding car park. After the Hacket car park turnoff the last 7 km are unsealed. Roding car park is also the start point for Champion Mine Circuit.

 

The track starts on the other side of Roding River; you must cross the river via the concrete ford as the swingbridge was washed away in Feb 2018. Make sure you fill out the intentions book, located at the information panel across the river from the car park.

 

Logging and high fire risk will close access.

Description

Once over Roding River head right on Summit Rd. After 1.2 km Old Malita Rd forks off to the right. Continue on Summit Rd as it continues winding steeply up through the pine forest for 2.5 km to 575 m elevation, at which point it reconnects with Old Malita Rd.

 

Summit Rd continues to a skid site at 725 m elevation, where the road splits three ways; Burridge Rd heads left, Spar Rd heads right, but to get to the summit, head up the unnamed rough-looking road that climbs straight up the spur through felled pine that is now overgrown with gorse. The next few hundred metres are steep. The road dips briefly into a low saddle that marks the end of the forestry block, and then climbs again through regenerating native trees and scrub.

 

The 4WD ends and a walking track climbs steeply up the bank on the left, heading straight up the hill through tall grass, limestone outcrops, and long-dead tree trunks and stumps. The summit is located at the top of the ridge next to the bush edge and is marked by a survey pipe in a limestone outcrop. Just south of the summit there is a locked two-bunk hut (owned by Nelson City Council) nestled next to the tree line.

 

Just below the summit there is a small concrete platform built in 1962 to support a telescope housed in a shelter. This was used by the University of Pennsylvania to investigate the suitability of Mt Malita as a site for an astronomical observatory. Too much light pollution from Nelson and Richmond prevented this from becoming a reality, and instead Mt John near Lake Tekapo was selected as a more appropriate location.

 

Return the way you came.

Connections

Mt Malita Road does not connect to any other official tracks. Experienced parties may continue along the ridge from the summit to Mt Meares and further to Te Araroa Trail (south of Rocks Hut). There is also an unofficial route that follows the spur southwest from the summit, toward Whispering Falls (and Hacket car park).

Updated 29 January 2019