8 Nov 2011

Nelson’s exhilarating Dun Mountain Trail opening

The Dun Mountain Trail, the third “Great Ride” to be completed under Nga Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail will be officially opened at a public cycling event on Saturday 12 November.

The 38km Dun Mountain Trail begins in The Brook, a Nelson suburb and follows the route of New Zealand’s first railway line. The trail winds through forest before crossing an alpine mineral belt, and then descending down to the Maitai River and back into Nelson.

The intermediate level trail is one of the 18 Great Rides under The New Zealand Cycle Trail and tipped to become a major draw card for visitors to Nelson.

New Zealand Cycle Trail Project Manager (and co-author of Classic New Zealand Mountain Bike Rides) Jonathan Kennett, who will be attending the opening event, says the Dun Mountain Trail is outstanding.

“The scenery on the Dun Mountain Trail is truly world class. When you ride this trail you really feel like you’re on top of the world. Early sections give glimpses of the Waimea plains and more extensive views can also be enjoyed back across Nelson and beyond to Tasman Bay and Abel Tasman National Park,” Mr Kennett says.

“The trail climbs right above the treeline at Windy Point and then finishes with a 10km downhill ride that offers one of the most exhilarating riding experiences in the country.”

A joint bid from Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council, coordinated by the Nelson Tasman Cycle Trails Trust to the Ministry of Economic Development’s New Zealand Cycle Trail project fund, secured $480,000 for the development of the Dun Mountain Trail.

Nelson City Council Mayor Aldo Micco says Nelson is an outstanding cycling destination. The region is cycle-friendly, has good weather, is renowned for its strengths in the arts, and in food and wine - and is also close to iconic attractions such as the Abel Tasman National Park. 

“I hope the official opening will in some way acknowledge all of the people who have worked hard to make the Dun Mountain Trail a top attraction for the region,” Mayor Micco says.

Chair of the Nelson Tasman Cycle Trails Trust David Bonnett, says the support of the New Zealand Cycle Trail project is what will make it possible for many more of our residents and visitors to enjoy this classic trail."

The trail has recently had an upgrade, which has included the addition of a new bridge, further improvements to the overall standard of the track, and new facilities including toilets, signs and information boards

Event Details

The Dun Mountain Trail will be officially opened at 10.45am at the Maitai Dam Spillway on Saturday 12 November. Key attendees will include Nelson MP Hon. Dr Nick Smith, Green Party MP Kevin Hague, Nelson Mayor Aldo Micco and Tasman District Council Mayor Richard Kempthorne.

Members of the public are invited to bring their bikes and explore the Maitai Valley.

An information tent will be on-site to assist people wanting to know more about the trail and to provide advice on what riding options will best suit their capability and timetable on the day.

The entire circuit can take several hours to ride but on the day officials will ride from the dam up to a new bridge built to cross the south branch of the Maitai River. A barbecue and cup of tea will be available for all who attend.