NELSON TRAILS

Sunrise Ridge

Maitai Water Reserve

Sunrise Ridge is a MTB track in the upper Maitai Valley, commonly combined with Black Diamond Ridge and Peaking Ridge to form a technical circuit within short distance of central Nelson. The track passes through beautiful beech forest of the Matai Water Reserve, and though predominantly used for MTB, it is also great for trail running and walking.

Details
Length3.5 km
Trail TypeTramping track
Physical DifficultyModerate   
Technical DifficultyExpert   
UsesWalking, trail running and MTB
DirectionEither for walkers and runners, Black Diamond Ridge start for MTB
Start Elevation812 m (intersection with Black Diamond Ridge)
Finish Elevation629 m (end of Big Hill Track)
Dog AccessDogs are prohibited in Maitai Water Reserve


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Access

  1 hr 30 min from central Nelson (by MTB)

 

The two respective ends of Sunrise Ridge connect with Black Diamond Ridge (uphill end) and Big Hill Track (downhill end). Mountain-bikers will need to ride Sunrise Ridge in the downhill direction, which will require them to get to Black Diamond Ridge via Fringed Hill or Dun Mountain Trail (which will require around 1 hr 30 min riding from central Nelson). Attempting to bike from the Big Hill Track end will see you walking your bike most of the way.

 

For circuits you can park your car at either the public car park next to the Maitai Motor Camp, or on the side of Maitai Valley Road at Smiths Ford.

 

If you’re on foot, Sunrise Ridge can be traversed in either direction. If approaching from Maitai Valley, at Maitai Dam cross the pedestrian bridge to the true left of the Maitai River and follow Dun Mountain Trail up the valley. After 1.6 km Bob Taylor Road forks off to the right; a signpost indicates this is the way to reach Sunrise Ridge. Bob Taylor Road climbs through plantation forest and connects with Big Hill Track, which heads uphill on the left to 629 m elevation. Big Hill Track ends here, and Sunrise Ridge Track and 629 begin right next to each other.

Description

From the intersection on Black Diamond Ridge, the track descends steadily through the beech forest that covers the ridge. The track has a technical grading of expert, and is often described as a ‘rootfest’. Between the tree roots, fallen trees and occasional rocky section, there will be several places where you will need to dismount and walk. Despite this, there are good lengths of the track that can be negotiated without having to get off your bike. The gradient is steady the whole way along the ridge and there are no particularly steep drops. You will notice the large swathes of young beech trees that are taking the place of the trees downed in the damaging winds that occasionally afflict the area.

 

Peaking Ridge Track branches to the right after 2.4 km. Crankenstein DH track also begins on the left, dropping down and reaching Maitai Valley via the bottom half of 629. The last few hundred metres of Sunrise Ridge involve a steep, rocky climb where you will need to walk your bike. From here you can descend to Smiths Ford in Maitai Valley via 629 DH track, or to Maitai Valley road end via Big Hill Track and Bob Taylor Road.

Sunrise Ridge
Maitai Water Reserve

Black Diamond Ridge runs from Fringed Hill to Junction Saddle on Dun Mountain Trail, southeast of central Nelson. The ridge is covered in beautiful beech forest, and the track that traverses it is commonly combined with Sunrise Ridge or Dun Mountain Trail to create a technical MTB or trail running route within short distance of the city centre.

Details
Length3.5 km
Trail TypeTramping track
Physical DifficultyModerate   
Technical DifficultyExpert   
UsesWalking, trail running and MTB
DirectionEither for walkers and runners, Black Diamond Ridge start for MTB
Start Elevation812 m (intersection with Black Diamond Ridge)
Finish Elevation629 m (end of Big Hill Track)
Dog AccessDogs are prohibited in Maitai Water Reserve


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

 

Access

  1 hr 30 min from central Nelson (by MTB)

 

The two respective ends of Sunrise Ridge connect with Black Diamond Ridge (uphill end) and Big Hill Track (downhill end). Mountain-bikers will need to ride Sunrise Ridge in the downhill direction, which will require them to get to Black Diamond Ridge via Fringed Hill or Dun Mountain Trail (which will require around 1 hr 30 min riding from central Nelson). Attempting to bike from the Big Hill Track end will see you walking your bike most of the way.

 

For circuits you can park your car at either the public car park next to the Maitai Motor Camp, or on the side of Maitai Valley Road at Smiths Ford.

 

If you’re on foot, Sunrise Ridge can be traversed in either direction. If approaching from Maitai Valley, at Maitai Dam cross the pedestrian bridge to the true left of the Maitai River and follow Dun Mountain Trail up the valley. After 1.6 km Bob Taylor Road forks off to the right; a signpost indicates this is the way to reach Sunrise Ridge. Bob Taylor Road climbs through plantation forest and connects with Big Hill Track, which heads uphill on the left to 629 m elevation. Big Hill Track ends here, and Sunrise Ridge Track and 629 begin right next to each other.

Description

From the intersection on Black Diamond Ridge, the track descends steadily through the beech forest that covers the ridge. The track has a technical grading of expert, and is often described as a ‘rootfest’. Between the tree roots, fallen trees and occasional rocky section, there will be several places where you will need to dismount and walk. Despite this, there are good lengths of the track that can be negotiated without having to get off your bike. The gradient is steady the whole way along the ridge and there are no particularly steep drops. You will notice the large swathes of young beech trees that are taking the place of the trees downed in the damaging winds that occasionally afflict the area.

 

Peaking Ridge Track branches to the right after 2.4 km. Crankenstein DH track also begins on the left, dropping down and reaching Maitai Valley via the bottom half of 629. The last few hundred metres of Sunrise Ridge involve a steep, rocky climb where you will need to walk your bike. From here you can descend to Smiths Ford in Maitai Valley via 629 DH track, or to Maitai Valley road end via Big Hill Track and Bob Taylor Road.

Updated 25 March 2019