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Wots Up DOC , Tasman

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Wots Up DOC Intermediate - Experienced

Submitted by Stu Houston

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Trail Information





Tasman and Nelson

St. Arnaud

Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, some big hills

Native bush
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops

Intermediate - Experienced

5:00 (Slow)
3:30 (Moderate)
2:00 (Fast)



Tops can get heavy snow cover in winter

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Can be run in either direction

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This is a fantastic scenic loop that can be done in either direction but is best done clockwise.

Starting in the Red Hills carpark follow the well signposted track to the start of the Wots Up DOC Mountain Bike track. This well built (by the Nelson Mountain Bike club) well graded track climbs and zig zags its way through beech forest up and onto the open tops of Beebys Knob, where there are beautiful views in all directions.

Carry on until you arrive at the Junction with the Maitland Ridge track. Turn right (East) onto the Maitland Ridge track and run along this narrow undulating single track through mountain beech forest interspersed with open clearings keep an ear open for mountain bikes coming behind you. Eventually the open mass of the Red Hills comes into view and you drop down to the sweet little Red Hills Hut - this area is stunning and unique as the ultramafic red rock of the Red Hills means forest doesn't grow on them in stark contrast to the beech forest you've just run through.

From the hut the track follows an old 4x4 road back down to the carpark.

You can add to this run with a side trip visit to Beebys Hut from the Maitland Junction - carry on North along the 4x4 road for 3 km the views along this side trip are well worth the extra effort.

This is a very runnable circuit the beautifully graded trail means there's very few places the track is over 7% in grade but only if you do it Clockwise ! Take plenty of water with you as for 14 kms there is none available.

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Features of interest

Stunning views of Nelson Lakes National Park and Raglan Ranges plus the Wairau Valley and the magical Red Hills.

Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 10%

Moderate Single Track: 30%

Easy Single Track: 40%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 20%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

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  • Access

    Red Hills Carpark on Highway 63 about 10 kms North of St Arnaud

    Nice shady DOC carpark but beware carparks in this area are routinely broken into.

    10 km

    9 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    This is a well marked trail follow orange markers.

    Very patchy.

    Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

    Only first 5 km and last 5 km is there any water.

    Hot in summer and freezing in winter and very exposed on open tops.

    Do this trip in fine weather - you are on tops up high for a long time plus you need to see the views.

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