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Pelorus Bridge Waterfall Walk

Home  »  South Island Walks  »  Havelock  »  Pelorus Bridge Waterfall Walk – Walk detail

Take a break while driving from Piston to Nelson.  Walk through the clean green native bush. The same can be said for the river, cool, clean and drinkable.

Quick Facts

        • Location: Northern End. South Island
        • Distance: 4.30 kms
        • Time needed: 2 hours return without stopping for a coffee.
        • Difficulty: Easy
        • Wheelchair Access: No
        • Route: Round Trip
        • Elevation: Unknown
        • Wet Feet: No
        • Toilets: Yes
        • Dogs: No
        • Mobile Coverage: No
        • Last Updated: November, 2019
  • Track Highlights

    Cool, clean green native bush. The same can be said for the river, cool, clean and drinkable.

  • Track Quality

    The tramping track starts off on a well formed lightly gravel track. After the turn off to the trig, 15 minutes, the track turns in to a typical NZ bush track.

  • Hazards

    The main road is very busy during the summer. Watch out for heavy freight trucks.

  • Transport

    Buses run from Picton to Nelson daily.

  • Water

    Clean drinking water taps are in the camping grounds and at the cafe.

  • Driving Instructions

    Pelorus is on the main road to Nelson from Blenheim or the other way around. Pelorus is 55k east of Nelson and 51k west of Blenheim. Whichever way you drive, you will not miss Pelorus Bridge. First of all, there is a one way bridge to cross, plus there will be cars and people running all over the place, especially in the summer months and on the weekends. If you are driving to Nelson form Blenheim, turn left in the car park. The toilets are down the back and to the right of the cafe.

  • Shops or Restaurants nearby

    Just the Pelorus cafe.

  • Area & Track History

    The valley was the site of a massacre of the Ngati Kuia and Ngati Apa tribes by the Maori chief Te Rauparaha, who came from the North Island coast, west of Wellington. The first Europeans to arrive in 1843 found a few remaining Maori people producing flax for Te Rauparaha. The original route to Nelson went through the reserve site and over the Maungatapu Saddle. Later, the path that the road follows today was discovered, and a bridge was built across the Pelorus River around 1860. The Pelorus Bridge location was set aside for a future township, but in the early 1900s this was changed to preserve the area’s natural beauty. The present bridge was built in the 1950s.

  • Best Things To Do near this walk

  • Map location of Pelorus Bridge Waterfall Walk

    Map of walk

Points of interest along the walk

In the map above, if you zoom in on the walk, you’ll see all the following track points and their location. Each point has photos along with a description about each one.

Point 1: Pelorus Bridge, Water Falls Tramp – Start

If you are driving from picton to Nelson, turn left in to the main car park. There is a good information board, just inside the cap park. Just before the cafe, on the left is the start to the track. When you walk in to the caravan park turn to the left and follow the tree line to the next sign and on your way to the falls.

Point 2: Pelorus Bridge, Water Falls Tramp – Track

The next sign is to the Tawa track on the left. This track is a very short walk back to the car park. So walk on to the next turn off.

Point 3: Pelorus Bridge, Water Falls Tramp – Track

Trig K Look Out. Is again on the left. And only 5 minutes for the Tawa walk turn off. The trig K Look out is a rough 4 Hour return tramp, with a 417 Mt crawl to the top. Not a tramp to be attempted by a townie in dress shoes.

Point 4: Pelorus Bridge, Water Falls Tramp – Track

Next turn off is at the first set of falls on this tramp. The walk in to the fall is just 2 minutes away. Don’t expect to be excited by what you see. Unless you are in to soft green mosses and ferns. The giant Punga ferns will make up for the disappointing falls.

Point 5: Pelorus Bridge, Water Falls Tramp – Track

At least you can enjoy the view of the Pelorus River as you walk up to the Elvy Falls. Don’t plan having lunch at Elvy falls. Your best bet is to look for the perfect spot to sit in the sun and enjoy the peace and quiet on the way back. You are only 20 minutes away from the falls. Did you pick up a trout fishing license in Nelson before you left? There must be a couple of 4Kg trout swimming around this end of the river.

Point 6: Pelorus Bridge, Water Falls Tramp – Track

One hour to the Elvy Falls. The Elvy Falls are tucked in a gully, with very little sun light penetrating the canopy, it was a little on the dark side and damp. To get closer to the falls you need to rock hop across the creek, not a problem so long as there was no rain, the day before. Yes, the water was too cold for a swim, even around March, but the water was perfect for drinking, cool clear and clean. At the time of taking these photos there was a massive big tree in the middle of the falls as well, which doesn’t help to see it too good.

All walks in Havelock…

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Contact info

Pelorus Bridge 7192, New Zealand

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