Matakitaki River

(0 routes)

In the western part of Nelson Lakes National Park is the wide Matakitaki Valley.


At Longford on SH6, about 20km east of Murchison, take the road to Tutaki and then south to Ella Station. Gold mining was carried out in the Matakitaki during the Nelson goldrush, and the remains of diggings can be seen in Burn Creek and near the junction of the East and West branches. Peaks on the ranges west of the valley can be gained by rather circuitous routes along the tops, but the best climbing is on the Ella Range peaks.
Access is through leasehold land of Mt Ella Station. From the DOC sign near the milking shed an old 4WD track follows the valley floor for 4½ hours to the historic pitsawn Downies Hut, built about 1900 (4 bunks, standard). Interesting and sometimes challenging mountainbiking along muddy forest tracks and easy open flats. Above McKellar Stream the track has been recut around a big washout, making it very rough for biking till the easy Downie flats are reached. Quad bikes are permitted but not 4WD vehicles.


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