While not exactly the geographical centre of New Zealand, a 20-30 minute walk will take you to the Centre of New Zealand, following any of a number of paths. But Nelson is known for it biking from the relatively flat coastal area between Nelson and the township of Richmond to the excitement of the down hill on Dun Mountain.
Tasman's Great Taste Trail
Tasman’s Great Taste Trail starts at the Nelson i-SITE and offers panoramic coastal and mountain views over Tasman Bay, Waimea Estuary and the Western Ranges, with many stops for fine food and relaxation. There is a day trip or single day sections while the full loop is 175km.
The Coppermine Trail is more memorable for its relatively easy up, exhilarating down, amazing rocky tops and winding river trail.
It starts among Nelson’s cafes and pubs, this amazing day ride heads directly into spectacular hill country via Codger’s Mountain Bike Park and a long, consistent tramway-line climb up the Dun Mountain Walkway. Broad panoramas of Tasman Bay and the rocky tops of Coppermine Saddle are just some of the rewards. Others are the brilliant 10km downhill through rock gardens and bush, and the leisurely pedal back to Nelson via the pretty Maitai Valley.
The technical Grade 4 downhill section makes the full loop best suited to fit, experienced singletrack riders, but intermediate-grade riders can enjoy a loop around the lower Codgers tracks or a return-ride via the Dun Mountain Railway to Third House or Coppermine Saddle.
Dun Mountain Trail
The Dun Mountain rises to 1129m and due to its unique geology, is one of the most distinctive mountains around Nelson. This exciting one-day mountain trail from Nelson climbs to a height of 878m on Dun Mountain along New Zealand’s first railway line before descending back down to Nelson.
Although the ride time may only take 4-6 hours, it is recommended you allow a full day to enjoy this unique environment. One of the most accessible back-country alpine cycle trails in the country, it requires a good fitness level and all riders should be competent mountain bikers.