Last Updated: 17th Apr 2024


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Dun Mountain Traverse

Havelock, Nelson

Submitted by Mal Law

Last Updated: 17th Apr 2024


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Grunt Factor: 68 ?

Gnarl Factor: 46 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote

Point to Point (one way)


With permit

Native bush


Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +11.5%

Average Downhill Gradient: -12.0%


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Estimated Times to Run







From the road end follow the Pelorus Track (part of the Te Araroa Trail) past Captain Creek Hut to Middy Creek Hut. Cross the river on the bridge and start the long grunt uphill through bush to Rocks Hut. Now follow the signs for Dun Saddle. The bush becomes more stunt and the underfoot conditions more rocky.
From Dun Saddle it's a 140m climb over about 1km to the summit of Dun Mountain, from where there are panoramic 360 views on a nice day.
Retrace your steps back to the Saddle and turn right (signed to Coppermine Saddle) on a rocky trail. On arriving at the junction with the Dun Mountain Trail hang a left and begin the long, gradual descent towards Nelson. Leave Third House Shelter to your left and continue on the Dun Mt Trail, ignoring other tracks, all the way to its end on Tantagree Road.

This trail includes the peak Dun Mountain.

The beautiful Pelorus River, stark open tops of Dun Mountain and the historic Dun Mt rail route make for a varied and challenging long run.

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.

Parking available at road end.

70 km

72 minutes

With Permit



Well signposted but quite a few junctions so keep an eye on the map.

Very patchy.

Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Compass, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries

Water in the Pelorus River is good and at Middy Creek & Rocks Huts. After Rocks Hut there is no more water on the route.

Can be very muddy after rain. The top sections can be icy in winter.

The main hazard is exposure on the open tops around Dun Mt. Go prepared regardless of the time of year.

Trail Legend

Kate Annan

Kate Annan

has completed Dun Mountain Traverse once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Amazingly varied landscape/terrain - so runnable on the Nelson side, but gotta say "not so much" on the Pelorous side! :-) We did it in reverse which might have been a mistake.

Mike McManaway

January 21, 2022

A great run with a grunty climb to the saddle. Awesome views of bush and then the open mineral belt at the top before dropping down to a nice easy gradient downhill, though the downhill isn't thrilling.

Carys Coleman

November 2, 2018

There is a lot of climbing up and it can be very cold at the top. Fantastic views from the top. This is a great track.

Suzanne Roberts

September 6, 2018

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