Trail Grades and Safety

Our trails have been graded according to the trail grade standards set out by NZ Cycle Trails. You can read them here.
The Trail is Grade 3 to Coppermine Saddle and the descent from the Saddle to Maitai Dam is Grade 4.

We recommend riders are fit and well prepared and we encourage you to know your limits and choose a trail that's suitable for all the riders in your group. Also be aware that there are areas on the trails where there is no cellphone reception. You may want to carry a Personal Locator Beacon in these areas. Check network coverage here.

We recommend you check the weather before starting the trail.  Check it here.


Brook Street to Third House

Ride Length
11.5 km
Riding Time
1-2 hours
3: Intermediate

The Coppermine Trail starts from Brook Street, about 3 km from the Nelson i-SITE. If you are arriving by car, there is a car park, toilet and bike washing facilities located just off Tantragee Road.

The trail climbs up the main track through the Codgers Mountain Bike Park before joining Tantragee Road. Once past Nelson’s Water Treatment Plant, veer right off Tantragee Road and follow the signs until you reach a gate on your left. This gate marks the beginning of the historic Dun Mountain Railway, New Zealand’s first railway. Find out more about the The Coppermine Story.

As the trail climbs up the railway it passes through two wooded gullies, both of which are followed by a short steep pinch. At Bullock Spur (305m above sea level) there is a picnic table, a great place to stop for a rest and look out over Nelson and Tasman Bay.

The trail soon enters mature native forest, bordering the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary predator-proof fence, climbing gently but steadily to Third House at 660m above sea level. Native birds abound in the surrounding forest and you will be able to hear Weka, Tui, Bellbird and possibly even Riflemen. At Third House, there is a shelter, picnic table and a toilet.