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The Great Rides and Cycle Trails of New Zealand

Dun Mountain Trail

New Zealand Cycle Trail

Nelson Tasman, South Island

The Dun Mountain Trail is based on the line of New Zealand´s first railway used to transport minerals from the eastern slopes of the Wooded Peak.

The 38km Dun Mountain Trail loops between Brook Valley and the Maitai Valley and is a grade 3 mountain bike ride. The Dun Mountain rises to 1129m and is one of the most distinctive mountains around Nelson.

The newly upgraded trail was opened on 12 November 2011 and is the third great ride to be completed under Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail.

Brook St Entrance to Third House

The trail follows the original railway alignment through the Codgers Mountainbike Park and takes in pine forst and recently harvested land to reach native forest before reaching Bullock Spur. The alignment continues through regenerating forest to Cummings Spur Crossing and from here the trail climbs gradually through mature beech forest eventually reaching the site of Third House at 660m.

Third House to Coppermine Saddle

The trail continues to Junction Saddle when the old railway alignment joins the main ridge. Continuing past Junction Saddle, the trail climbs steadily through stunning beech forest all the way to the site of Fourth House. After Coads Creek is crossed a you'll see a change in vegetation. It changes from mature forest to the stunted manuka and shrubland of the ‘mineral belt.' This infertile, distinctly-coloured landform is also found in Otago and in several places between St Arnaud and D’urville Island. The single track takes you all the way from here to Coppermine Saddle at 878m for some great views of the Richmond Range and down to the Maitai Valley.

Coppermine Saddle to Maitai Dam

It´s mostly downhill to the Maitai Dam. The cruisy, flowing single track will put a big smile on your face and the landscape is amazing too. The lower section is steep as your descend into Scianders Creek then over the new Maitai River south branch bridge and on to the Maitai Dam. Along the track you'll find several well researched and beautifully presented interpretive panels that capture the human and natural history.

Maitai Dam to Smith Ford

The route connects back to the start of the trail via the Maitai Valley Road, however a further section of new trail will be added soon which runs alongside the Nelson water pipeline and down a cruisy downhill to come out at Smith Ford Bridge further down the Valley.

Smiths Ford to Maitai Entrance

From Smiths Ford the route to continues on the road to the Maitai Motor Camp, the its either a road ride back to Nelson via the Maitai Valley Road or to follow the Maitai Valley Walkway down to Nile Street and Nelson City.

Completing the circuit

If you want to complete the circuit back to Brook St you can either head back to town and back up Brook St or head over to Groom Creek trail behind Maitai Motorcamp back to the Trantragee Saddle then down to Brook St on the first part of the trail you started on.




A Temporary partial Dun Mountain Trail closure to allow the installation of the Maitai Pipeline. This means that the second half the Dun Mountain trail is closed from 11 February to 18 March.

Cyclist can still enjoy a great ride from Nelson to Coppermine Saddle, but must turn around and return to Nelson.


  • Dun Mountion Copper Mine
  • Dun Mountain 4
  • Dun Mountain 1
  • Dun Mountain 2
  • Dun Mountain 3
  • Dun Mountain loop
  • Copper Mountain nelson
  • Copper Mountain 2