Te Araroa Trail Day 82. Rocks hut 1866.3kms – Nelson (off trail)

Te Araroa Trail Day 82 - Dun Mountain trail

Te Araroa Trail Rocks hut to Nelson

I had a great night sleep in ‘the palace’ (Rocks hut), and I was up and out by 8am. The Kiwi family had advised me on a good 5 hour track which would take me directly into Nelson, so I walked out via the Dun Saddle to Brook Street in Nelson.

It was a clear start to the day but as I walked over the saddle, the cloud came over. It was almost impossible to see the next marker pole. I slowly reached Coppermine Saddle, and came to signage indicating the mountain biking and hiking trails. There were some nice information boards detailing the area’s mining history.

Te Araroa Trail Day 82 - Foggy start to the morning between Rocks hut and Dun Mountain
Te Araroa Trail Day 82 – Foggy start to the morning between Rocks hut and Dun Mountain

The Dun Mountain Trail

The trail from here was really easy going – wide and downhill, along the old Dun Mountain railway. I met lots of people doing their various spoting activities. One couple, who were familiar with the Richmond ranges, gave me some great advice on the area.

Te Araroa Trail Day 82 - Dun Saddle
Te Araroa Trail Day 82 – Dun Saddle

Road Walk to Nelson

The final stretch was a road walk into Nelson. I found a wonderful accomodation in the InnBetween Lodge & Backpackers in the central city. This was possibly one if the nicest hostels I’ve ever stayed in. I got myself settled, then I went for lunch at the Morri Street Cafe, which was excellent. Afterwards I wandered to the wonderful Nelson Isite to get some advice from the DOC staff there, and I took some brochures on the great walks in the area.

Back at the hostel I bumped into Susie and Bruno who I’d spent some time with in the Tararuas and at Christmas. They told me about a jazz festival that was on in town, which we’ll check out over the coming few days. I  then whiled away the late afternoon settling into the hostel and luxuriating in the shower!

In the evening Susie, Bruno and I went to the Free House Bar, which does craft beers, nice wine and lovely hot chips! Just a casual few drinks ended up being a late-ish night… Welcome to the downtime!! We are definitely off-trail 🙂

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