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Dew Lakes Climb, Nelson

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Dew Lakes ClimbBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Ben Wallbank

Info Info
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Trail Information





Tasman and Nelson


Front country - easily accessible

Point to Point (one way)

Very hilly

Native bush
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops

Beginner - Intermediate

2:00 (Slow)
1:20 (Moderate)
0:50 (Fast)



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Starting at the Dam, there are good signs for Rush Pool & Dew Lakes. (you go past Rush Pools on the way to Dew Lakes). Hop over the fence and away you go.

First you'll undulate over some forestry 4WD roads until you reach an obvious sign pointing you into the bush - here's where the fun begins! You'll then follow this single-track old mining route to the top, passing an old anvil rock site used before we had powertools! Keep on trucking to the top where you might get your feet wet - the track can get boggy after heavy rain and the are a couple of patches of the wet stuff. You'll then reach the DoC sign directing you 300m to the Dew Lakes.

At this point you can either return back the way you came or, go right and over Dun Mountain (4km), Rocks Hut (9.5km) or left to Maungatapu Saddle (4km). Each option opens up more tracks, but both directions have options to get you back down to the Maitai Dam again. But just getting to the top is enough to earn you your 68 Wild Explorer Points.

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Features of interest

The route up to the Rush Pools and Dew Lakes are part of Nelson's mineral belt which was mined back in the day. The Rush Pool is a man-made pond, part of an early Maori 'factory' where argillite was chipped from outcrops on the hillside and made into tools.

Make Up of Run

Moderate Single Track: 60%

Easy Single Track: 20%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 20%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Head up Maitai Valley Road to the Maitai Dam, there's a carpark and infomation boards along with picnic benches.

    Free parking.

    13 km

    25 minutes



  • Staying Safe



    Windproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

    No formal water, but once out of the foresty I drink the natural water. Not endorsing you to do the same though.

    Weather can turn quickly up there - take a rain/wind jacket and tell people where you are going.

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