We all know that getting out to stretch the legs and breathe in fresh air is good for the soul, especially when times are tough. If running is already your thing, or you’re keen to start, the right track will always make it much more enjoyable.
Stuck on where to go for a run in Nelson? Lucky for you, we’ve got you covered with these running tracks to get you motivated. Alternatively, you can use these great resources by Nelson Tasman.nz and also Nelson Council to find a track near you. Freshen up your run with a new route—but stay within your bubble.
Sir Stanley Whitehead Track
Warm up with a steady walk up the Centre of New Zealand, but instead of heading to the lookout, you’ll want to turn left to a hilly pasture. The easy running track starts here, and runs through Sir Stanley Whitehead Park, finishing at Walter’s Bluff. You can either run the whole track, heading down to Atawhai Drive and following the road back to where you started, or simply turn around when you feel the need to. The whole track features panoramic views of Nelson and Tasman Bay which makes the whole thing well worth it—but make sure to mind the sheep droppings.
The Maitai River Walkway
The Maitai Walkway track is well-trod and goes on for ages, meaning that your run can be as long or as short as you want. The eight kilometre track follows the Maitai River and starts right where the ocean flows into the river, slinks around the many popular swimming holes, eventually ending up at the campground. Whatever your fitness level, this track is ideal as it’s mostly flat, apart from the odd incline. It’s also dog friendly, but be aware that the track runs through cow pasture, so keep a leash handy so as to not disturb the ladies.
Jimmy Lee Creek
If you’re keen for something off road, the Jimmy Lee Creek circuit is for you. This 2.8km track is a bit more rugged, with several creek crossings and muddy paths after rain, but don’t let that stop you as the native bush and birds will make your run well worth it. Starting and ending on Hill Street, the Jimmy Lee Creek track heads through bush, past a historic dam, through a forestry block, finally zig zagging back to Hill Street where you’ll need to walk back to where you started.
The Boulder Bank
Revitalise your soul with a run in fresh sea air. Despite its name, The Boulder Bank makes for an ideal running spot thanks to smaller stones and the bank’s resilience to the tides. The Boulder Bank is a natural formation and stretches for 13km from The Glen to Boulder Bank Drive. Start at the carpark at The Glen end of the bank, and head south towards Nelson for as far as you feel fit. The whole way you’ll be running parallel to the ocean, and if you keep an eye out you might even be lucky enough to catch a pod of dolphins!
The Grampians Reserve
While most locals know the Grampians to be a gruelling uphill battle, the many running tracks within the reserve are lesser known but just as good. Each track varies in length, difficulty and grade, meaning that there’s something for everyone. If you’re keen for something well graded with less incline, try a track like the Kānuka trail, or for something with a bit more grunt you could give the Tawa or Kahikatea tracks a go. Whichever trail you choose, you’ll spend your time running in amongst native flora and fauna, no doubt being treated to bird song. Be wary though, as most of these tracks are shared with mountain bikers.
The Airport Circuit
Although the airport may be out of action at this point in time, it still has its uses. You can run the perimeter of the Nelson Airport, all while hoping you can jump on a plane and reach your dream travel destinations soon (we all are). The whole circuit is 5.8 km of flat, sealed path, and starts at the car park just before the entrance to the main airport car park. As you may have guessed, the trail heads around the entire airport and runway, before heading around the coast of the Waimea Estuary and the boundary of the Nelson Golf Course—so keep a heads up for rogue golf balls.
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Image credit: Pixabay, Maitai River Walkway And The Boulder Bank by www.nelsontasman.nz