Pelorus River

Image: Jeff Hitchcock | Creative Commons


Enjoy beautiful forest and river scenery on one of several walks - there are short, easy options for kids and a river for them to swim in too.

Track overview

Walking and tramping

Various from 5 min - 4 hr Easiest: Easy access short walk
Advanced: Tramping track

Dog access

No dogs

About this track


From the car parks on either side of SH 6, the main paths in the reserve explore the forest and riverbanks. They are wide and gentle, built to a standard suitable for wheelchairs.

Beyond these paths, and across the Rai swing bridge there are several other tracks. 

Easy access short walks

Tawa Walk

Time: 30 min loop
Distance: 1 km

A gentle path from near the café car park entrance takes you through shady forest to explore river terraces formed by Te Hoiere/Pelorus River over thousands of years. A sidetrack leads to the campground and river.

Tōtara Walk

Time: 30 min
Distance: 800 m 

From the Kanuka Picnic Area, this easy walking track loops through forest with a mixture of podocarp, broadleaf and beech trees – and an ancient giant tōtara. A short side track leads to Tōtara Flat picnic area.

Short walks

River access

Time: 5 min
Distance: 200 m 

A short walk, branching off the Tōtara Walk, leads down to the river.

Circle Walk

Time: 45 min loop
Distance: 1.7 km 

The Circle Loop Track begins as the easy Circle Walk alongside Te Hoiere/Pelorus River. The wheelchair-standard path overlooks the river and goes as far as a suspension bridge. The bridge crosses the Rai River just before it feeds into the Te Hoiere/Pelorus River.

Beyond the bridge the track becomes uneven with steps and tree roots as it makes a loop through a pocket of forest. It has short stretches with steps and moderate gradients but is otherwise flat. For part of its length the track follows the river, providing good views of its junction with the Rai River.

This track is part of Te Araroa Trail and connects to Daltons Track, which is also part of the trail.

Weta Walk

Time: 5 min
Distance: 200 m

This walking track joins the Elvy WaterfallsTrack from the rear of the Kahikatea Flat amenity block. This track can also be used as an emergency escape track in case of flooding.

Longer walks

Elvy Waterfalls Track

Time: 2 hr return
Distance: 1.5 km 

This tramping track offers the opportunity to view two picturesque waterfalls, along streams that feed into the Pelorus River. The track branches off the Tawa Path and wanders along the bank of the river for most of its length, before turning up Elvy Stream. Access to the first waterfall requires a stream crossing so take care during wet weather. Return via the same track or continue on to Trig K.

Trig K Track

Time: 4 hr return
Distance: 4.6 km 

Superb views of the surrounding countryside reward those who climb to Trig K. The tramping track leading up to the trig branches off Elvy Waterfalls Track. One approach passes through mature and regenerating beech foreston a dry ridge, the other, shorter approach climbs through lush podocarp/broadleaf forest.

Daltons Track

Time: 4 hr return
Distance: 14 km 

This section of the Te Araroa Trail follows the true left bank of Te Hoiere/Pelorus River across farmland between the Circle Loop Track and Daltons Bridge (near SH 6). Follow the markers and stiles and respect the access across private land.

Getting there

The reserve is located midway between Blenheim and Nelson on SH6, 18 km west of Havelock.

Know before you go

Always carry warm, waterproof clothes, especially on longer walks.

Take care when the tracks are wet or the river flooded.


Whakatū / Nelson Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 546 9339
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   Millers Acre/Taha o te Awa
79 Trafalgar Street
Nelson 7010
Postal Address:   Private Bag 5
Nelson 7042
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