Last Updated: 4th Nov 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Nydia Track

Havelock, Marlborough

Submitted by Mal Law

Last Updated: 4th Nov 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 39 ?

Gnarl Factor: 43 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Point to Point (one way)

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush

Plantation/exotic forest


Open farmlands

Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +14%

Average Downhill Gradient: -13.4%


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Estimated Times to Run







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.

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!

If you know of any public toilets near the trail start or on the route, please login and then let us know so we can update this section.

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




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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Trail Reviews


Simon Clendon

November 24, 2020

Lovely trail, especially the descent from Nydia Saddle to Duncan Bay. Compared to the Queen Charlotte Track, it's much quieter, gradients are more gentle and trail not nearly as slippery in the wet.

Catriona McWhirter

October 12, 2019

Did this in the opposite direction also. We got a car shuttle from Pelorus Sound water taxis ( and were able to extend the run 2km to the skippers house in Kaiuma to pick up the car. Made it very easy. Ideal if you are running in a group and can split costs.Great run! Highly recommended. It is dog friendly if you get a permit from DOC.

hadyn butler

September 11, 2019

I ended up doing this as an out and back staying at the doc lodge a little off the track at Nydia Bay rather than doing the whole 42km in one go. Great to do over winter as its all fairly low level, beautiful track with a few fallen trees to navigate when I did it. Managed to get lost at one stage going in the direction as described above: 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.There was a fairly sharp right turn coming into the farmland after passing through a gate. Managed to miss the arrow turning right here, you should head directly down towards the bay crossing a narrow tributary to the main river on your left. Don't turn left until you actually hit the bay itself, you should get to a doc sign post at this point (right for the nydia lodge left to continue on the track).

Katie Wright

November 4, 2018

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