Best river trails in Nelson-Tasman, New Zealand

183 Reviews
Explore the most popular river trails in Nelson-Tasman with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Map of river trails in Nelson-Tasman, New Zealand
Top trails (18)
#1 - Te Waikopopupu Springs
Takaka, Nelson-Tasman, New Zealand
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(40)
Length: 0.6 mi • Est. 16 m
#2 - Lake Rotoiti Circuit
Nelson Lakes National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(10)
Length: 18.0 mi • Est. 8 h 13 m
The Lake Rotoiti Circuit links the Lakehead Track on the eastern shores with the Lakeside Track on the western shores and the Brunner Peninsula Nature Walk, around Lake Rotoiti. There are multiple places to step off the track, which is mainly forested, onto the river's edge for a picturesque lunchstop. The scenery is just stunning. It is possible to complete the circuit in a day if you start early. The track is mainly dirt with leaf debris and the occasional rock. There is only one steep area, heading clockwise up to Mt Robert Road, otherwise it is an essentially flat circuit. At the base of the lake, where the Traver's River runs down into it, there is Lakehead Hut. By carefully completing a river crossing, or by heading further up the river to a swing bridge and then heading back to the lake (an extra 3hrs), you'll get to Coldwater Hut. Whisky Falls is well worth the 500m extra side trip. There are small ferries that cross the lake connecting Kerr Bay with Lakehead jetty, Coldwater jetty & Whisky Falls jetty.Show more
#3 - Travers-Sabine Circuit
Nelson Lakes National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(17)
Length: 46.2 mi • Est. Multi-day
The Travers-Sabine Circuit in Nelson Lakes Regional Park is a four to eight day trip with huts along the way to stay in. The terrain is sometimes easy and straight, sometimes demanding with lots of roots, numerous smaller climbs and descends, and sometimes hard when you have to fight your way through windfall or non-existing parts of the track that the river has claimed. Travers Saddle is an alpine region, so you might encounter rain, fog, and snow even in Summer. When in doubt, it is better to stay in the hut. https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/nelson-tasman/places/nelson-lakes-national-park/things-to-do/tracks/travers-sabine-circuit/Show more
#4 - Pupu Springs
Kahurangi National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(28)
Length: 3.4 mi • Est. 1 h 51 m
#5 - Angelus Circuit
Nelson Lakes National Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(8)
Length: 24.3 mi • Est. Multi-day
Wonderful forest, sparkling cascades, a magnificent glacial lake in a snowy setting - this circuit has it all.Show more
#6 - Coppermine Saddle via Dun Mountain Trail
Nelson, Nelson-Tasman, New Zealand
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(7)
Length: 11.6 mi • Est. 6 h 40 m
This historical railway trail has a steady incline to Coppermine Saddle. There are technical mountain biking sections with rocky terrain. Show more
#7 - Robert Ridge Trail to Speargrass Trail Loop
Nelson Lakes National Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(14)
Length: 18.8 mi • Est. 11 h
This loop climbs Roberts Ridge out to Lake Angelus and returns via Speargrass Track. On the first section along Roberts Ridge, the trail is mostly flat along alpine meadow with occasional scrambles over boulders, be sure to carry enough water for the day as there is no where to refill until you reach camp at Lake Angelus. Returning via Speargrass Track is through dense forest terrain which might have some overgrown sections and can be very muddy, especially near river crossings. Show more
#8 - Abel Tasman Coast Track
Motueka, Nelson-Tasman, New Zealand
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(12)
Length: 26.0 mi • Est. Multi-day
#9 - Chromite Mine Track via Hackett Track
Richmond, Nelson-Tasman, New Zealand
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(10)
Length: 5.3 mi • Est. 2 h 55 m
#10 - Maitai River Walk
Nelson, Nelson-Tasman, New Zealand
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(9)
Length: 4.5 mi • Est. 1 h 58 m
The walkway can be accessed at numerous points throughout Nelson. Millers Acre and Riverside Pool are good starting points. The track passes through urban and natural settings and has many swimming holes and picnic spots along the path. Show more
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