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Nydia Track, Marlborough

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Nydia TrackBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Mal Law

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible

Point to Point (one way)

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush
Plantation/exotic forest
Open farmlands

Beginner - Intermediate

6:00 (Slow)
4:15 (Moderate)
3:00 (Fast)



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There's no time for a warm-up on this one. It's straight into a well-graded climb to a small saddle at about 230m altitude, followed by a lovely cruisy downhill through surprisingly pleasant plantation forest.
The next bigger climb takes on a gentle-moderate rise to Kaiuma Saddle (387m), which is followed by another delicious downhill.
About 1km before Nydia Bay the track breaks out of the bush and there's a lovely gentle downhill section across open farmland to the shore of the bay. Here you make a left turn and shortly after cross a shallow stream (likely wet feet) before continuing around the shoreline in front of a few baches.
Check out the wharf (stunning view out into the bay), have a play on the tyre swing and check out the eel pool before continuing along the well-signed path towards Nydia Campsite and Nydia Saddle.
The climb to the saddle is a long one and a quite rocky/rooty in places but is generally well graded. When you reach it you are rewarded with great views through the bush back down into the bay that you've just run around.
The trail now starts heading down again and the following 3kms are amongst the most primo bits of downhill running in the country. Back at almost sea level the final 3kms undulate through gorgeous native bush before you emerge at Duncan Bay - a stunning spot for a post-run dunk in the cool waters of the Sounds.

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Features of interest

Varied trail, beautiful bush, stunning coastal scenery and a back-in-time bach community at Nydia Bay. If it wasn't for the difficulty of accessing this trail it'd be way more popular. As it is it's a bit of a secret gem.
Also, check out the eels and the rope swing at Nydia Bay!

Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 10%

Moderate Single Track: 50%

Easy Single Track: 40%

Route Data


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  • Access

    About 3k west of Havelock turn right on to Te Hoiere Road, across a couple of single lane bridges and right on to Kaiuma Bay Road. After some 20 mins of driving on a windy gravel road you should see the DoC sign for the start of the Nydia Track on your left. It's quite easily missed so keep a sharp eye out for it!

    There's limited parking at the track start but as this is a point-to-point run requiring (ideally) a support vehicle and person, you may not be parking a car here long-term anyway. The only alternative is working a shuttle with more than one car but NB the two ends of the track are an hour's drive apart.

    20 km

    35 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .

    Keep an eye out for signposts and it's hard to go wrong.

    Very patchy.

    Short-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Map.

    There are several side creeks but none that you can 100% rely on so it'd be best to carry your own supplies for the duration of the run. Don't drink from the stream you cross when first hitting Nydia Bay as there is stock grazing upstream.

    The climate is relatively mild and the track is mostly under bush canopy so exposure isn't too big a factor, even in winter. But parts of the trail can get very muddy after rain.

    No notable hazards other than the occasional slippery root or rock, particularly in the second half of the run.

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