NELSON TRAILS

Wooded Peak Circuit

Maitai Water Reserve

Wooded Peak (1111 m) is a prominent forested peak located between Fringed Hill and Dun Mountain, and is accessed via Dun Mountain Trail. Climbing the summit is challenging, with steep terrain, jagged limestone outcrops and a sometimes vague track making it best-suited to experienced and fit individuals. Wooded Peak was originally named ‘Big Twin’ in reference to nearby Little Twin, even though the latter is the taller of the two (1143 m). It is the closest 1000 m peak to central Nelson (8.3 km as the crow flies).

Details
Length Wooded Peak Track from Windy Point to Junction Saddle is 3.7 km; Circuit from Maitai Dam via Dun Mountain Trail and Sunrise Ridge is 23.8 km; Circuit from Brook Valley via Dun Mountain Trail is 22.9 km
Time Required 5-7 hr for full circuit from either Maitai Dam or Brook Valley
Trail Type Walking track/Tramping track/Poled route
Physical Difficulty Hard   
Uses Walking and trail running
Direction Either
Max Elevation 1111 m
Dog Access Dogs are prohibited in Maitai Water Reserve

Connections

Dun Mountain Trail

Walking, trail running and MTB

Black Diamond Ridge

Walking, trail running and MTB

Access

  20 min from Nelson

 

Wooded Peak Track is accessed via Dun Mountain Trail, with its two respective ends connecting to the latter at Junction Saddle and Windy Point. The track itself is 3.7 km, though the majority of the time and distance required will be getting to and from the track ends. Junction Saddle and Windy Point are equally as far from the respective road ends of Brook Valley and Maitai Valley.

 

If you plan to climb Wooded Peak from Maitai Dam, consider creating a circuit with Dun Mountain Trail, Wooded Peak Track and Sunrise Ridge. Likewise if you plan to start in Brook Valley, you can create a circuit by combining Dun Mountain Trail, Wooded Peak Track, Black Diamond Ridge and Fringed Hill Classic.

 

For starting at Maitai Dam, 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 also 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

Beginning at Maitai Dam, cross the pedestrian bridge over the Maitai River and follow Dun Mountain Trail. The first 3 km are easy-going as the track undulates on the true left of Maitai River South Branch. You will cross the bridge over Maitai River South Branch and soon after find yourself in the mineral belt, where the vegetation transitions to manuka scrub and the track steepens as it zig-zags upward. The gradient lessens as you reach a plateau-like area, and you will reach a fork in the track; turn right to continue toward Coppermine Saddle (turning left will take you to Dun Saddle). Once at Coppermine Saddle, continue for a further kilometre to Windy Point.

 

At Windy Point, Wooded Peak Track branches off steeply to the right, where a poled route climbs steeply through the mineral belt up Wells Ridge. The route isn’t always obvious among the tussock and alpine scrub, but the ridge is narrow and easy enough to follow. There are great views of the mineral belt and Richmond Ranges, with Blue Knob standing prominently across the valley immediately south.

 

You will reach the treeline at 980 m elevation. The forest is mountain beech with grassy undergrowth, and as the track is not overly popular it is not well-worn, so pay careful attention to the orange markers. As the track climbs toward point 1092 m the forest transitions to an interesting area of stunted mountain beech, where the canopy isn’t too far above head height. The ridge dips before rising again to the summit. The ridge is presumably vulnerable to the high winds as the ground is littered with broken dead branches. As you climb toward the summit you will notice an increasing presence of exposed limestone outcrops. The summit (1111 m) is marked by a steel pole that has been hammered into a block of limestone. Unfortunately the summit is a bit of an anticlimax, with trees obscuring the view (the peak’s name suggests that this might be the case).

 

West of the summit the track follows a sharp ridge with a very steep drop to the south. Openings in the trees that allow great views south across the mineral belt and toward Mt Malita. In several places you will need to clamber over vertically-oriented outcrops of limestone. The steep descent lasts a few hundred metres before the gradient of the ridge eases, and the track passes through beech forest for the remainder of the distance to Junction Saddle.

 

At Junction Saddle you can head directly up Black Diamond Ridge, which will take you to the turnoff to Sunrise Ridge. Follow Sunrise Ridge Track as it descends along the ridge toward point 629 (where 629 DH track starts). Here the track connects to Big Hill Track, a forestry road that descends all the way back to Dun Mountain Trail. Turn left and return to the car park at Maitai Dam.

 

From Junction Saddle you can also head back along Dun Mountain Trail to Windy Point, at which point you can retrace your steps back to Maitai Dam.

Wooded Peak
Maitai Water Reserve

Wooded Peak (1111 m) is a prominent forested peak located between Fringed Hill and Dun Mountain, and is accessed via Dun Mountain Trail. Climbing the summit is challenging, with steep terrain, jagged limestone outcrops and a sometimes vague track making it best-suited to experienced and fit individuals. Wooded Peak was originally named ‘Big Twin’ in reference to nearby Little Twin, even though the latter is the taller of the two (1143 m). It is the closest 1000 m peak to central Nelson (8.3 km as the crow flies).

Trail Details
Length Wooded Peak Track from Windy Point to Junction Saddle is 3.7 km; Circuit from Maitai Dam via Dun Mountain Trail and Sunrise Ridge is 23.8 km; Circuit from Brook Valley via Dun Mountain Trail is 22.9 km
Time Required 5-7 hr for full circuit from either Maitai Dam or Brook Valley
Trail Type Walking track/Tramping track/Poled route
Physical Difficulty Hard   
Uses Walking and trail running
Direction Either
Max Elevation 1111 m
Dog Access Dogs are prohibited in Maitai Water Reserve
Access

  20 min from Nelson

 

Wooded Peak Track is accessed via Dun Mountain Trail, with its two respective ends connecting to the latter at Junction Saddle and Windy Point. The track itself is 3.7 km, though the majority of the time and distance required will be getting to and from the track ends. Junction Saddle and Windy Point are equally as far from the respective road ends of Brook Valley and Maitai Valley.

 

If you plan to climb Wooded Peak from Maitai Dam, consider creating a circuit with Dun Mountain Trail, Wooded Peak Track and Sunrise Ridge. Likewise if you plan to start in Brook Valley, you can create a circuit by combining Dun Mountain Trail, Wooded Peak Track, Black Diamond Ridge and Fringed Hill Classic.

 

For starting at Maitai Dam, 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 also 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

Beginning at Maitai Dam, cross the pedestrian bridge over the Maitai River and follow Dun Mountain Trail. The first 3 km are easy-going as the track undulates on the true left of Maitai River South Branch. You will cross the bridge over Maitai River South Branch and soon after find yourself in the mineral belt, where the vegetation transitions to manuka scrub and the track steepens as it zig-zags upward. The gradient lessens as you reach a plateau-like area, and you will reach a fork in the track; turn right to continue toward Coppermine Saddle (turning left will take you to Dun Saddle). Once at Coppermine Saddle, continue for a further kilometre to Windy Point.

 

At Windy Point, Wooded Peak Track branches off steeply to the right, where a poled route climbs steeply through the mineral belt up Wells Ridge. The route isn’t always obvious among the tussock and alpine scrub, but the ridge is narrow and easy enough to follow. There are great views of the mineral belt and Richmond Ranges, with Blue Knob standing prominently across the valley immediately south.

 

You will reach the treeline at 980 m elevation. The forest is mountain beech with grassy undergrowth, and as the track is not overly popular it is not well-worn, so pay careful attention to the orange markers. As the track climbs toward point 1092 m the forest transitions to an interesting area of stunted mountain beech, where the canopy isn’t too far above head height. The ridge dips before rising again to the summit. The ridge is presumably vulnerable to the high winds as the ground is littered with broken dead branches. As you climb toward the summit you will notice an increasing presence of exposed limestone outcrops. The summit (1111 m) is marked by a steel pole that has been hammered into a block of limestone. Unfortunately the summit is a bit of an anticlimax, with trees obscuring the view (the peak’s name suggests that this might be the case).

 

West of the summit the track follows a sharp ridge with a very steep drop to the south. Openings in the trees that allow great views south across the mineral belt and toward Mt Malita. In several places you will need to clamber over vertically-oriented outcrops of limestone. The steep descent lasts a few hundred metres before the gradient of the ridge eases, and the track passes through beech forest for the remainder of the distance to Junction Saddle.

 

At Junction Saddle you can head directly up Black Diamond Ridge, which will take you to the turnoff to Sunrise Ridge. Follow Sunrise Ridge Track as it descends along the ridge toward point 629 (where 629 DH track starts). Here the track connects to Big Hill Track, a forestry road that descends all the way back to Dun Mountain Trail. Turn left and return to the car park at Maitai Dam.

 

From Junction Saddle you can also head back along Dun Mountain Trail to Windy Point, at which point you can retrace your steps back to Maitai Dam.

Connections

Dun Mountain Trail

Walking, trail running and MTB

Black Diamond Ridge

Walking, trail running and MTB

Updated 18 February 2019