Coppermine ClimbBeginner - Intermediate
Submitted by Sarah Biss
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Back country - remote
Out and Back
Native bushOpen tussock/grasslandsOpen ridges/topsOther
Beginner - Intermediate
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Once parked as described, carry on that tarseal road for a couple of hundred metres, (over the Maitai Dam outflow) until the road ends at a wire fence and sign with walking times for the Dun Mountain trail, Dew Lakes etc. Follow that 4WD track, but keep on the track rather than turning off to the left to go to the Rush Pool or Dew Lakes (another sign a little further on).
You will cross the Maitai River and leave pines behind for nice flowing single track through native bush. Do not take the side turn off to the Maitai Caves, just stick to the track, which will continue to get steeper, eventually coming out of the bush into more open landscape, with striking reddish rocks and great views out to sea. Look out for mountain bikers flying down the switch backs as you grovel your way up!
The highest point (and your turnaround point, unless you want to poke your nose further along the track- either towards Windy Point - right, or Dun Mountain - left ) is Coppermine Saddle (878m). Here you have wonderful views of the Richmond Range down to the Maitai Valley. It is a unique landscape, particularly when not that far from Nelson City as the crow flies.
Turn around and head back exactly the way you came.
Features of interest
This route is part of the Dun Mountain Trail- "The Dun Mountain, at the heart of the Nelson Mineral Belt, is one of the most geologically interesting areas in New Zealand. Its diverse minerals also mean it has an interesting history - from early use by MÄori as a source of argillite adzes, and in early European settler times as the centre for hopes of wealth from copper mining. The Nelson Mineral Belt consists of heavy ultramafic rocks such as serpentine, which formed the ocean floor and were thrust into the crust of the Gondwana super-continent some 280 million years ago. New Zealand is a small fragment of Gondwana that began breaking apart about 100 million years ago."
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 2%
Technical Single Track: 40%
Easy Single Track: 28%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 18%
Gravel Road: 10%
Sealed Road: 2%
The following trails overlap with this run to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate Strava activity for each
From Nelson city follow Maitai Valley Rd (off Nile St) for about 11km. It starts as tarseal then turns into gravel, a 2WD is fine, unless there has been extremely heavy rain, in which case there could be a small ford to cross. Keep driving until you reach the Maitai Dam. Just before the dam you will see an info sign to the right, and to your left - the entrance to carpark/toilet block- where this run route starts from.
Parking is safe. There is a gate a couple of hundred metres from the toilet block/parking area that is sometimes locked, if so you can park there and just start the run a little earlier!
Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .
The Dun Mountain Trail brochure is a useful one for a general overview, but for more detail take Topo50-BQ26 Nelson.
Waterproof leggings, 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 bag, Cellphone, Compass, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries.
Carry your own water.
The tops can be very wind blown or cold in the winter, and conversely hot and dry in the winter.
Post run indulgence
42 Rutherford St, Nelson
You have to return to Nelson for the nearest cafe, where the options are numerous. Zumo is good if you need somewhere casual enough to flop on a couch whilst still dusty and sweaty and are craving a good coffee. Not the biggest range of food, but the coffee is hard to beat and the staff great.
81 Trafalgar St, Nelson
Nice location by the river, indoor and outdoor seating- and an excellent range of food.
Sponsor this trail
See other runs nearby:
Cable Bay - Glenduan
Hunters Hut Mission
Stu's Monaco Marathon
Hackett to Brook St via Rocks
Hackett - Rocks
Brook - Fringed Hill - 3rd House return
Dew Lakes Climb
Dun Mountain Loop
The Brook Fenceline
Maitai Cave Track
Flights and Sights
Sharlands-Central Road Loop
Fringed Hill Slugger