MOUNT RICHMOND FOREST PARK
Mt Richmond forest park comprises of a network of tracks within the area between Nelson and Marlborough. Opportunities for biking in the park are endless, from the gravel road grinds, epic grade 6 descents off the peaks or multi day hike a bike missions, this is the place to go for adventure riding.
Helibike Nelson and Bluemoon Backpackers both offer shuttle services for these trails.
What better way to get to the top than in a helicopter! Check out the rates and ‘mtb buddys trips’ at their websites Helibike Nelson and Bluemoon Backpackers.
Wakamarina Track | Grade 4 | Duration - Approx 5 hours
Possibly the most widely known trail in the park this is a fantastic day out.
The trail follows an old gold mining trail between Onamalutu and Canvastown.
The initial climb up to Fosters clearing is a rideable wide but rough and natural single track.
Take the side track to head up to Fosters Hut, a great spot to check out the view with a fun descent back down. From the clearing the trail traverses and descends down, this section is wild!
After this descent there is a hike a bike to the top of a peak 1066m, this is where the fun really begins, an 800m descent over 2.5km. Native NZ riding at its best.
You will arrive at Devils Creek hut where you can let the brakes cool off, the arm pump to subside and share stories of railing ‘that corner’, losing the front wheel over ‘those roots’ and humping the bars in ‘that big dip, you know the one’.
The track then gets back onto the old gold trail, following the river back to Butchers flat, a great place for a quick dip in the river. Camping available at Butchers Flat
Don’t forget to allow time to stop for a brew at the Trout hotel out at the main road!
The forestry access roads on the Wairau Valley side are often closed with forestry operations, please check DOC website HERE for road access information or call the DOC Renwick office at (03) 572 9100. Additional DOC information on Wakamarina track HERE.
CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO FROM HELIBIKES
Mount Fishtail | Grade 5 | Duration - 5+ Hours
Mt Fishtail has to be one of the best descents in NZ.
A true test of skill, this relentlessly steep and difficult track is not for the faint hearted.
To access the track turn off the North Bank Wairau road onto Pine Valley Road. Follow up to the final carpark.
The initial 20mins of riding is flat and easy, then brace yourself as it heads straight up!
Allow a full day to do this ‘hike a bike’, and don’t give up as the huts location at 1300m, scenery and panoramic views are well worth it. Take it all in as you won’t get a chance on the decent!
An epic decent, but be prepared and self-sufficient as help is a long way away should there be any mishaps. You will be in an alpine environment so adequate clothing food and water required.
Mount Riley | Grade 6 | Duration Full Day
There are very few who have attempted this and I’m not sure if many have returned for a second time! If you came off Fishtail looking for more, looking for a real test, this could be for you. Another hike a bike and that’s both up and down!
Only attempt in the dry with a confident riding party. Additional DOC information HERE.
Maitland Ridge | Grade 4 | Duration - 4-6 Hours
Maitland ridge track is a reasonably new track close to Nelson Lakes National Park. It is a 4 -6 hour ride in favourable conditions, 22.5km.
The start has a steep climb up a 4wd track, then turns into a single track through NZ beech forest, emerging out at the moonlike landscape of the Red Hills and the hut.
Follow the wide track/road back down to the main road. Alpine environment, please be prepared, especially with water. Additional information HERE.
Mount Patriarch | Grade 2-3 Forestry and Gravel Roads | Duration - Full Day
Mt Patriarch is accessible from the North Bank Wairau valley road. After 33kms turn off at Top Valley road and follow towards ‘Lake Chalice’. This route and final destination at Mt Patriarch carpark offers stunning views over the Wairau Valley and towards the kaikoura ranges.
The final carpark is 1460m so be prepared for a big day out. Maps, adequate clothing food and water will be required. A side trip down to Lake Chalice is well worth it with a fun descent to the lake. But do take into account the extra energy required to push your bike back up.