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.

Access

  30 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 Roding car park, where you can park. The road switches from sealed to gravel at the Hacket car park turnoff, meaning 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.

 

View Mt Richmond Forest Park access updates to check for closures before you go. Logging and high fire risk in summer will close access. You can call the Roding caretaker on 03 5477332 to check the latest track information.

Description

Turn right from the car park, cross the bridge over Roding River and head right on Summit Road. After 1.2 km Old Malita Road splits off to the right. Continue on Summit Road 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 Road.

 

Summit road continues to a skid site at 725 m elevation, where the road splits three ways; Burridge road heads left, Spar road heads right, but to get to the summit you must head straight, up the unnamed rough road that climbs straight up the spur through felled pine that has since been replaced by gorse. The next few hundred metres are steep. The road dips briefly into a low saddle that marks the end of the forestry block. The road continues climbing through regenerating native trees and scrub.

 

The 4WD ends and the walking track climbs steeply up the bank on the left, heading straight up the hill through tall grass, outcrops of limestone 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 is a small concrete platform built in 1962 to support a telescope housed in a shelter, which 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.

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

  30 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 Roding car park, where you can park. The road switches from sealed to gravel at the Hacket car park turnoff, meaning 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.

 

View Mt Richmond Forest Park access updates to check for closures before you go. Logging and high fire risk in summer will close access. You can call the Roding caretaker on 03 5477332 to check the latest track information.

Description

Turn right from the car park, cross the bridge over Roding River and head right on Summit Road. After 1.2 km Old Malita Road splits off to the right. Continue on Summit Road 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 Road.

 

Summit road continues to a skid site at 725 m elevation, where the road splits three ways; Burridge road heads left, Spar road heads right, but to get to the summit you must head straight, up the unnamed rough road that climbs straight up the spur through felled pine that has since been replaced by gorse. The next few hundred metres are steep. The road dips briefly into a low saddle that marks the end of the forestry block. The road continues climbing through regenerating native trees and scrub.

 

The 4WD ends and the walking track climbs steeply up the bank on the left, heading straight up the hill through tall grass, outcrops of limestone 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 is a small concrete platform built in 1962 to support a telescope housed in a shelter, which 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.

Updated 29 January 2019