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Maitai River Walk – Nelson City, Things to Do

Maitai River walk is a shared pathway (bikes / walks). The pathway threads a route through Nelson city following the Maitai River. Discover a 7 km walk woven into Nelson city. The route passes sculptures, murals, shady picnic spots, swimming holes with river beaches, and riverside cafes.


  • Maitai River mouth (Nelson city) marks the start / finish of the walk. 
  • You can walk as far as you desire with cafes tempting you to relax and embrace the holiday spirit 
  • Enjoy several popular swimming holes, with their river beaches and picnic tables 
  • The pathway finishes at the Maitai Valley campground.

Maitai River Walkway track conditions



From Maitai River mouth start at Trafalgar Street

77 Trafalgar Street, Nelson 7010

Initially the path is a firm flat surface, from Nile Street the track is undulating and narrow in parts. 


Maitai River Route Map to Campgrounds

Girlie, Black, Dennes  Sunday Hole swimming locations and Waahi Taakaro Reserve


Girlie swimming hole, Maitai River was formerly used by Nelson Girls College for summer sports. No bikes are allowed along the section after Nile St due to the narrow track. Bikes can be pushed in this section.


Bikers can turn left at Nile Street to ride up the Maitai Valley Road towards the finish of the walk at the Maitai Camp Grounds.


Bikes are allowed beyond the Nile Street section as the track widens. The track passes native plantings, Maitai Cricket Grounds, Waahi Taakaro Golf Course and Maitai Arboretum. The walk finishes at the Maitai Camp Grounds. There is a carpark at the camp grounds. 


Maitai River Duration: 6.5 – 7 km

Grade: easy

Cycle grade: intermediate due to walk, push and ride sections

The Maitai river stretches 11 kilometers, flowing into the Tasman sea from the Bryant Range. The Maitai River is the largest river in Nelson province.


  • Maitai camp grounds swimming hole & picnic area
  • Bikers can continue up the Maitai Valley and join the Coppermine Trail and Mangatapu Track.
Wainui waterfalls in abel tasman national park
Wainui Falls, Abel Tasman National Park

The Maitai River walk is part of Nelson city walking trails. Linger in riverside cafes, find the centre of New Zealand (sort of) or cool off in a river swimming hole. For heritage lovers discover the myriad galleries on a walk through history.


Nelson city boulder walk

Nelson city heritage trail

Nelson city three gardens walk

Nelson city botanical hill to centre of New Zealand walk



Nelson city and nearby Abel Tasman National Park is one of New Zealand’s premier holiday destinations.

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