NELSON TRAILS

Rocks Hut

Mt Richmond Forest Park

Rocks Hut is located south of Dun Mountain, in Mt Richmond Forest Park. It is the closest hut to central Nelson (11 km as the crow flies) and is a good destination for overnight tramps or multi-day tramps to Hacket Valley or Pelorus Valley. The easiest way to access the hut is via Dun Mountain Trail, which climbs through the captivating landscape of the Dun Mountain mineral belt. Rocks Hut is also the third hut on the Mt Richmond section of the Te Araroa Trail.

Details
Distances 12.5 km Maitai Dam to Rocks Hut; 2.8 km Dun Saddle to Rocks Hut
Time Required 4-5 hr from Maitai Dam
Trail Type Shared track/Tramping track
Physical Difficulty Hard   
Uses Walking and trail running
Direction Either
Start Elevation 120 m (Maitai Dam)
Max Elevation 810 m (Rocks Hut)
Dog Access Dogs are prohibited in Maitai Water Reserve

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Access

  20 min from central Nelson

 

Rocks Hut is accessed via Dun Mountain Trail.

 

Dun Mountain Trail is at the end of Maitai Valley (at the Maitai Dam), east of central Nelson. Park at the car park at the road end, which is 11 km up the Maitai Valley from central Nelson. If the gate to the dam is open you can park further up at the car park next to the dam, though take note of the signage that warns the gate will be closed at 5 PM.

Description

Begin at the car park at Maitai Valley Road end and follow Dun Mountain Trail. The first 3.3 km climbs gently alongside Maitai River South Branch, before bridging it and entering the mineral belt. The trail zig-zags steadily upwards through coarse scrub and mineral-rich rocks, before leveling off and sidling the western flank of Dun Mountain.

 

After 8.7 km the track forks; take the left fork and climb to Dun Saddle. Dun Saddle (955 m) marks the boundary between the Maitai Water Reserve and Mt Richmond Forest Park. The saddle is quite bare, with only a few tufts of tussock amid the bare gravel and rock outcrops.

 

From Dun Saddle the track descends gently southwest along a broad ridge, stepping down though tussock and rocky outcrops. Though the ridge lies east of the mineral belt, the influence of the underlying ultramafic geology on the vegetation characteristics is obvious, with kānuka and lancewood common amid the silver beech. The ridge is quite boggy in sections, so blocks of wood have been laid down on parts of the track to allow easy crossing. Rocks Hut is 1 hr (2.8 km) from Dun Saddle.

 

Rocks Hut, named after nearby outcrops on the ridge called The Rocks, sits in a small clearing amid kānuka trees. A deck extends around the western and southern sides of the hut, and there is a rainwater tank and basin on the exterior. The hut also has the luxury of a flushing toilet. A short track to a lookout starts close the hut. The lookout provides good views west across the mineral belt.

Rocks Hut
Hut Type Standard Hut
Capacity 16 bunks
Bookings Not required; first in, first served
Fee 1 Standard Hut Ticket
Facilities Woodburner, mattresses, flush toilet, space for a few tents outside
Altitude 810 m
Beyond Rocks Hut

Rocks Hut to Middy Hut

The track to >Middy Hut (Te Araroa Trail) begins immediately after Rocks Hut. The track steadily descends the eastern side of the ridge through beech forest. You will reach the junction with Pelorus Track on the hillside not too far from the valley floor; here you can turn right to head to Roebuck Hut (3 hr away). To get to Middy Hut, turn left and descend to the swingbridge that crosses Pelorus River just upstream of the hut; the latter is positioned on the true right bank of the river. Middy Hut is 1 hr 30 min-2 hr (4.8 km) from Rocks Hut. The Pelorus road end is a further 14.1 km away(via Captain Creek Hut).

 

Rocks Hut to Browning Hut

Te Araroa Trail continues southwest from Rocks Hut toward Totara Saddle and Browning Hut. The track follows the crest of the broad ridge, climbing up and around a series of small knobs through attractive beech forest. You will encounter a couple of sections where the forest has been significantly damaged by severe wind events. Occasional openings in the trees allow views northwest towards Tasman Bay.

 

While mainly gently undulating, the track climbs gradually to the highest point on the ridge, 1030 m. From here the track descends through a section of mineral belt tussock, which provides good views towards Mt Starveall. The track then drops steeply and roughly down to Totara saddle, where you will reach the junction with Pelorus Track. Browning Hut is a short, steep descent from the saddle. Browning Hut is 5-6 hours (10.7 km) from Rocks Hut.

Rocks Hut
Mt Richmond Forest Park

Rocks Hut is located south of Dun Mountain, in Mt Richmond Forest Park. It is the closest hut to central Nelson (11 km as the crow flies) and is a good destination for overnight tramps or multi-day tramps to Hacket Valley or Pelorus Valley. The easiest way to access the hut is via Dun Mountain Trail, which climbs through the captivating landscape of the Dun Mountain mineral belt. Rocks Hut is also the third hut on the Mt Richmond section of the Te Araroa Trail.

Details
Distances 12.5 km Maitai Dam to Rocks Hut; 2.8 km Dun Saddle to Rocks Hut
Time Required 4-5 hr from Maitai Dam
Trail Type Shared track/Tramping track
Physical Difficulty Hard   
Uses Walking and trail running
Direction Either
Start Elevation 120 m (Maitai Dam)
Max Elevation 810 m (Rocks Hut)
Dog Access Dogs are prohibited in Maitai Water Reserve

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

 

Access

  20 min from central Nelson

 

Rocks Hut is accessed via Dun Mountain Trail.

 

Dun Mountain Trail is at the end of Maitai Valley (at the Maitai Dam), east of central Nelson. Park at the car park at the road end, which is 11 km up the Maitai Valley from central Nelson. If the gate to the dam is open you can park further up at the car park next to the dam, though take note of the signage that warns the gate will be closed at 5 PM.

Description

Begin at the car park at Maitai Valley Road end and follow Dun Mountain Trail. The first 3.3 km climbs gently alongside Maitai River South Branch, before bridging it and entering the mineral belt. The trail zig-zags steadily upwards through coarse scrub and mineral-rich rocks, before leveling off and sidling the western flank of Dun Mountain.

 

After 8.7 km the track forks; take the left fork and climb to Dun Saddle. Dun Saddle (955 m) marks the boundary between the Maitai Water Reserve and Mt Richmond Forest Park. The saddle is quite bare, with only a few tufts of tussock amid the bare gravel and rock outcrops.

 

From Dun Saddle the track descends gently southwest along a broad ridge, stepping down though tussock and rocky outcrops. Though the ridge lies east of the mineral belt, the influence of the underlying ultramafic geology on the vegetation characteristics is obvious, with kānuka and lancewood common amid the silver beech. The ridge is quite boggy in sections, so blocks of wood have been laid down on parts of the track to allow easy crossing. Rocks Hut is 1 hr (2.8 km) from Dun Saddle.

 

Rocks Hut, named after nearby outcrops on the ridge called The Rocks, sits in a small clearing amid kānuka trees. A deck extends around the western and southern sides of the hut, and there is a rainwater tank and basin on the exterior. The hut also has the luxury of a flushing toilet. A short track to a lookout starts close the hut. The lookout provides good views west across the mineral belt.

 

Rocks Hut
Hut Type Standard Hut
Capacity 16 bunks
Bookings Not required; first in, first served
Fee 1 Standard Hut Ticket
Facilities Woodburner, mattresses, flush toilet, space for a few tents outside
Altitude 810 m
Beyond Rocks Hut

Rocks Hut to Middy Hut

The track to >Middy Hut (Te Araroa Trail) begins immediately after Rocks Hut. The track steadily descends the eastern side of the ridge through beech forest. You will reach the junction with Pelorus Track on the hillside not too far from the valley floor; here you can turn right to head to Roebuck Hut (3 hr away). To get to Middy Hut, turn left and descend to the swingbridge that crosses Pelorus River just upstream of the hut; the latter is positioned on the true right bank of the river. Middy Hut is 1 hr 30 min-2 hr (4.8 km) from Rocks Hut. The Pelorus road end is a further 14.1 km away(via Captain Creek Hut).

 

Rocks Hut to Browning Hut

Te Araroa Trail continues southwest from Rocks Hut toward Totara Saddle and Browning Hut. The track follows the crest of the broad ridge, climbing up and around a series of small knobs through attractive beech forest. You will encounter a couple of sections where the forest has been significantly damaged by severe wind events. Occasional openings in the trees allow views northwest towards Tasman Bay.

 

While mainly gently undulating, the track climbs gradually to the highest point on the ridge, 1030 m. From here the track descends through a section of mineral belt tussock, which provides good views towards Mt Starveall. The track then drops steeply and roughly down to Totara saddle, where you will reach the junction with Pelorus Track. Browning Hut is a short, steep descent from the saddle. Browning Hut is 5-6 hours (10.7 km) from Rocks Hut.

Updated 05 March 2019