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The Northbank area of Mount Richmond Forest Park has a number of tramping tracks.

Track overview

Walking and tramping

2 hr - 3 days Advanced: Tramping track

Dog access

Dogs with a DOC permit only. Contact the relevant DOC office to obtain a permit.

About this track


Pine Valley/Mt Fishtail

From the carpark at the end of Pine Valley Road, a 20 minute walking track follows the river through native forest. For a longer walk, continue for 5 hours to Fishtail Hut, 1 hour below Mt Fishtail.

Fishtail Hut.

Fishtail Hut

Category: Standard
Facilities: 4 bunk beds, mattresses
Bookings not required - first come, first served

Lake Chalice

Time: 2 - 5 hr return

A 1 hour tramping track leads from Chalice Car Park, on Staircase Road, down to Lake Chalice Hut. Allow more time for the return journey. From the hut, a tramping track encircles the lake (2 hours 30 minutes).

Lake Chalice Hut.

Lake Chalice Hut

Category: Standard
Facilities: 8 bunk beds, heating, mattresses
Bookings not required - first come, first served

Mt Patriarch

Time: 5 hr one way
Distance: 14 km

In about 5 hours, you can walk from Chalice Car Park to Mt Patriarch, following a 7 km 4WD track and then a marked route. Not for suitable for inexperienced or unfit trampers.

Mt Sunday/Mt Riley

Time: 8 hr return
Distance: 7 km

To get to the Mt Sunday (1310m)/Mt Riley (1314m) route turn right into Briggs Road before Onamalutu Domain, then right again into Davies Road, and carry on to the car park. The round trip takes about 8 hours. Mt Sunday Bivvy (2 bunks basic, no hut tickets required) is just below the summit of Mt Sunday or the track to Mt Riley.

Mt Sunday Bivvy.

Mt Sunday Bivvy

Category: Basic/bivvies
Facilities: 2 bunk beds, mattresses
Bookings not required - first come, first served

Chalice–Goulter Track

Time: 2 – 3 days one way

This track from Lake Chalice to the end of North Bank Road follows various river valleys. You need to arrange transport between the start and finish points.

Mt Richmond

Time: 11 hr or 6 hr one way

Mt Richmond can be approached from either Top Valley Stream (6 hours from Jubilee Flat) or Timms Creek (11 hours). It is possible to climb it in a day from the Top Valley side. A good level of fitness is essential. The Timms/Top Valley circuit makes a good weekend trip.

Other routes

Marked and unmarked routes lead up to the Richmond Range from Goulter Valley and Lake Chalice. These make various circuits possible. You need good fitness and route-finding experience.

Getting there

The northbank of Wairau River provides access to Mt Richmond Forest Park.

To get to this part of the forest park, turn off State Highway 6, just north of the Wairau River Bridge, 16 km from Blenheim.

There is no scheduled public transport available.

Know before you go

  • Snow, wind, and fog are hazards on the tops.
  • Be prepared with warm, waterproof clothing and extra food.
  • Only undertake the Chalice-Goulter Track or the Mt Patriarch Track if you are an experienced and fit tramper.
  • Only light fires in hut fireplaces.
  • Rivers can rise quickly; do not cross when they are swollen.
  • Boil, filter, or treat water for drinking.
  • Always use the intentions books.
  • The access road from the Northbank Road may be closed due to fire danger or forestry operations. Check if the access roads to Mt Richmond Forest Park are open.


Wairau / Renwick Office
Phone:   +64 3 572 9100
Address:   Gee Street
Marlborough 7204
Full office details
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