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Dun Mountain Traverse, Nelson

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Dun Mountain TraverseIntermediate

Submitted by Mal Law

Info Info
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Trail Information





Tasman and Nelson


Back country - remote

Point to Point (one way)


Native bush
Open ridges/tops


9:00 (Slow)
6:45 (Moderate)
4:30 (Fast)



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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.

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Features of interest

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.

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 10%

Technical Single Track: 15%

Moderate Single Track: 30%

Easy Single Track: 40%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 5%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Turn off SH6 at Pelorus Bridge and follow Maungatapu Rd alongside the Pelorus River all the way to the end.

    Parking available at road end.

    70 km

    72 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    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.

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