The Pelorus Valley, formed by the Te Hoiere/Pelorus River, encompasses around 30,000 ha of one of the larger river systems in the Richmond Range. It stretches from the summit of Mt Richmond to the confluence of the Te Hoiere/Pelorus River and Rai rivers.
The Te Hoiere/Pelorus River is very beautiful with emerald green pools and dramatic smaller gorges. Brown and rainbow trout are present in the river. There are a number of tracks that provide access into the area.
The Richmond Range is heavily forested with open tops to over 1,700 metres. Vegetation is mostly beech forest with podocarp forest at lower altitude and areas of tussock along the top of the range. On the Bryant Range are areas of stunted ultramafic vegetation.
There are numerous tributaries of the Te Hoiere/Pelorus River and ridges and spurs that can give good access to the hinterland of the Richmond Range.
Low numbers of red deer can be found throughout the area at any time of the year with fallow deer being found on the western side of the valley. Goats and feral pigs are relatively common throughout.
The Pelorus Track can be reached at the end of the Maungatapu Road (turn off SH6 at Pelorus Bridge) which follows the valley floor. The track at this point crosses private land for the first 2 km so there is no hunting allowed for 2 km from the end of the Maungatapu Road. Alternatively the Nelson end of the track is reached from the Hacket picnic area off Aniseed Valley Road, near Richmond.
Access is also available from Brook Street in Nelson by various routes to Rocks Hut and then on to the central portion of the Pelorus Track.
A walking track also leaves Maungatapu Track (4WD route) at Maungatapu Saddle heading south along the Bryant Range and joins the Pelorus Track at Tōtara Saddle. There is one hut (Rocks Hut) on this track.
The Mt Fell Route leaves the Pelorus Valley near Middy Hut and gives access to the alpine tops of Mts Fell and Richmond.
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NZTopo50 BQ26, BQ27, BR26 and BR27
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The park spans several regions and comprises most of the steep native forest-covered mountain country between Nelson and Blenheim. There are also areas of commercially forested pine plantations on public land.