Nelson mountain bike trip

On Friday November 25th, two Canucks and a Kiwi assembled together for the first time in the parking lot of the Interislander. Their mission: to “sail to the other side” and do some mountain biking in the Nelson area.

Anna had decided to take an open-ended approach to the cycling itinerary: after a fine feed of some of the onboard cafeteria’s finest, but before sea-sicknesses had a chance to strike, a copy of the Kennett Brothers bible was tossed onto the table with the invitation “so … where do you want to ride?”

Spoiled for choice, the three where challenged to find rides that would satisfy Anna and Dave’s need for some downhill speed, but at the same time not terrify Nicole. After much deliberation it was decided that Saturday would be spent checking out the rumoured-to-be newly revamped “Dun Mountain Trail”.

It wasn’t until they read the flash new signage at the start of the trail that the trio realized just what an appropriate choice they had made. The trail met all of the requirements: at 38km in length it would provide a whole day’s entertainment. It’s a circuit, so that made transportation straight forward. The trail follows the line of an old railway, so no one was going to bust a gut getting to the 878m Coppermine Saddle. And after the saddle it was all downhill and the descent to the Maitai Dam was billed to be “one of the most flowing pieces of single track around”. With the added promise of “amazing landscape” and “breathtaking scenery” the three eagerly began their ride. The ride did not disappoint. More details, some photos (none of us brought a camera!), and some lovely maps can be found at:

On Sunday, Anna left the trail decision to a friend of hers who is now living in Nelson. After Saturday’s five hour epic, the 2 hour return ride he chose was just what the doctor ordered. The start of the ride was 30 minutes south of Nelson and then along the Aniseed Valley Road. The single track followed the Hackett stream, running up into the valley. It crossed a couple swing bridges, winding its way through typical Nelson native bush. A side track afforded a viewing of Whispering Falls and then it was on to Hackett Hut. More track information and some photos are available at


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