After a long month back from my last tramping excursion in the southern part of Kahurangi it was clear that a short break would be appreciated. My daily walks down the hill, then to the end of Tahuna Beach and back were all very well but sometimes you need more of a challenge.


I had a few ideas for getting into the hills just behind Nelson, why not just explore your own backyard, but some of my more enthusiastic thoughts were dampened by a deluge on the Thursday before Easter, officially 150 mm in Nelson, 300 mm in places nearby, who knew how much up in them hills. The rivers might be up a bit.

In the end I set off with a few possibilities and no real conviction as to the actual route.

I managed to scrounge a ride up to the Maitai Dam, thanks Tim, and head up the bike trail to Coppermine Saddle. No real hurry, I was only intent on Rocks Hut for the night. The sky still had a few clouds which were blowing quickly around in the blustery wind. Cool enough to make me think it was no longer summer.

Mountain bike riders were out, 15 or so, either singularly or in nervous bunches, it’s a steep rocky trail, making the most of Good Friday.

It’s all familiar territory. I’ve been up there are a few times since my return to Nelson, one time a day trip to the top of the Dun Mountain, 1129 m, around 26 km return from the car park including that decent climb.

This time I was lugging a pack with five day’s food and my tent, just in case there were plenty of others in any of the huts for this long weekend.

I didn’t need the tent for tonight, there was only a solitary Canadian female already stationed at Rocks. She had survived all that rainfall and the resultant flooded rivers of the previous few days. Her ambitions of climbing Mount Richmond on a day trip proving unrealistic in the conditions and she was zipping back to Nelson.

It remains to be seen whether my vague plan would meet a similar fate.

+++++horizontal rule+++++

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Rocks Hut

the kitchen, Rocks Hut, Mt Richmond Forest Park
Day 2 | Just over to Roebuck, Mt Richmond Forest Park →