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.
|Length: 3.5 km||Trail type: Tramping track|
|Uses: Walking, trail running and MTB||Primary Direction: Either for walkers and runners; Black Diamond Ridge start for MTB|
|Physical Difficulty: Moderate||Technical Difficulty: Expert|
|Start Elevation: 812 m (intersection with Black Diamond Ridge)||Finish Elevation: 629 m (end of Bob Taylor Road)|
|Dog Access: Dogs are prohibited in Maitai Water Reserve||Links to: Bob Taylor Road, 629, Crankenstein, Peaking Ridge, Black Diamond Ridge|
|Length: 3.5 km|
|Trail Type: Tramping track|
|Uses: Walking, trail running and MTB|
|Physical Difficulty: Moderate|
|Technical Difficulty: Expert|
|Primary Direction: Either for walkers and runners; Black Diamond Ridge start for MTB|
|Start Elevation: 812 m (intersection with Black Diamond Ridge)|
|Finish Elevation: 629 m (end of Bob Taylor Road)|
|Dog Access: Dogs are prohibited in Maitai Water Reserve|
|Links to: Bob Taylor Road, 629, Crankenstein, Peaking Ridge, Black Diamond Ridge|
The two respective ends of Sunrise Ridge connect with Black Diamond Ridge (uphill end) and Bob Taylor Road (downhill end). Mountain-bikers will want 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. Attempting to bike from the Bob Taylor Road end will see you carrying 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 Smith’s Ford (see Access tab above).
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 upstream. 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 for 3.2 km to the road end at 629 m elevation, where Sunrise Ridge Track and 629 track begin right next to each other.
From the intersection on Black Diamond Ridge, the track descends steadily through the silver 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 a damaging wind storm in 2008.
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 Bob Taylor Road.
|Sunrise Ridge Circuit (Brook Valley start)||Distance|
|Fringed Hill, Black Diamond Ridge, Sunrise Ridge, Peaking Ridge and Maitai Valley Road||30 km|
|Fringed Hill, Black Diamond Ridge, Sunrise Ridge, 629 and Maitai Valley Road||26.2 km|
|Dun Mountain Trail, Black Diamond Ridge, Sunrise Ridge, Peaking Ridge and Maitai Valley Road||33.3 km|