Mt Richmond, Northbank tramping tracks

Alert/Important notice

Access road closed

The access roads from Northbank Road are closed due to fire danger, until further notice.

Track category

Tramping track


Pine Valley/Mt Fishtail

View from Fishtail Hut. Photo:Sarnim Dean
View from Fishtail Hut

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

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).

Mt Patriarch

Time: 5 hr one way

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

To get to the start of this track, turn right into Briggs Road before the Onamalutu Domain, then right again into Davies Road.

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

Bush Robin. Photo: Sarnim Dean.
South Island bush robin

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.


Dog walking Dog walking

Dog walking

A permit is required - contact DOC South Marlborough, ph: +64 3 572 9100. Dogs must be on a leash at all times.

Dog access in South Marlborough

Places to stay

Fishtail Hut
Fosters Hut
Lake Chalice Hut
Lower Goulter Hut
Mid Goulter Hut
Mt Fell Hut
Old Man Hut
Pine Valley Hut
Richmond Saddle Hut
Onamalutu campsite
Mill Flat campsite

You need backcountry hut tickets or a backcountry hut pass to stay in the huts, which all require one ticket.

Plan and prepare

  • 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.

Mt Richmond Forest Park access

Check if the access roads to Mt Richmond Forest Park are open.

Related links

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Find out more


DOC maps: Discover the outdoors - DOC's key places, campsites, tracks and huts, and visitor centres on a map


Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

Alerts for Marlborough places


Kaikoura Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 3 319 5641
Address:   West End
Full office details

Wairau / Renwick Office
Phone:      +64 3 572 9100
Full office details

Marlborough District Office hours 10am - 12pm and 2pm - 4pm

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