Great Places to get away from the crowds

Mt Malita

Feel like climbing Nelson’s closest mountain without any of the crazy rock scrambling? Mt Malita is for you! This humble peak is a quick day walk from the Roding caretakers house. Sign in and you’re away. The walk is mostly through pine forest until you’re near the top.

Richmond Ranges Forest Park

The Richmond Ranges are often seen as the poor cousin to the three amazing national parks in the region. Although it doesn’t have any great walks or iconic spots used in lord of the rings it definitely punches well above its weight. The best part is you’re likely to have the huts to yourselves. For an easy overnighter the Wakamarina is top of my list!


Its no secret I love Karamea, the best thing about the Upper West Coast area is its a dead end. You don’t have to put up with drive through tourists using the area as merely a stop on a journey to somewhere else. With way too many cool walks to list you can be sure you’ll have most of them to yourself. Off the top of my head Oparara Basin, Kohaihai River, Charming Creek and Millerton are all worth exploring.


This understated river town has a lot going for it. Not only is it a great spot for whitewater sports and fishing, its the gateway to a bunch of cool adventures. My personal favourite is Johnstone Creek with its incredible earthquake geology.

Northern Abel Tasman

The northern end of the Abel Tasman is in my humble opinion even better than the southern part, it feels more untouched and the beaches are way less crowded. Camping at Mutton cove is a great alternative to the busier sections of the track. While you’re at why not explore the least walked part of the whole park the inland track? If it didn’t have to compete with its iconic neighbour it would be considered one of our top walks.

Delaware Bay

Delaware is easiest to explore at low tide. Follow your nose along the mudflats (being careful to stay off the spit as its private land) until you’re at the river mouth and enjoy Nelson’s best beach for the day. It becomes very difficult to get out or back at any tide above mid tide so keep an eye on the tide times before you go.

The Wangapeka Track

Equally as stunning as the Heaphy Track the Wangapeka receives a small fraction of the number of visitors as its popular cousin. If you’re looking for a multi day trip where meeting other people is highly unlikely this is a great option. Bounce hut to hut if you want to take it easy or skip a few to get through the track even faster.

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