Moderate to Challenging

Traveller Rating


  • self-guided walking
  • 1 night motel, 2 nights private lodge
  • 2 Dinners
  • 2 Lunches
  • 2 Breakfasts


4 daysfrom


Trip Code: GNT

Trip highlights

  • Visit Havelock, the green-lipped mussel capital of New Zealand
  • Walk the Nydia Track from Kaiuma Bay to Duncan Bay
  • Enjoy the home comforts of remote On The Track Lodge overnight
  • Relax for a day at peaceful Nydia Bay

Located in Pelorus Sound, one of the many passages in the web of waterways that make up Marlborough Sounds, the Nydia Track is more remote and less-visited than other destinations in the region. Traverse two high points and follow the shoreline of Nydia Bay, significant historically for the logging operations based there from the late 1800's to early 1900's. Beautiful native forest of podocarps and beech trees can be seen on some sections of the trail, providing a glimpse of how the entire Sounds looked before such activities took place. Carry only minimal gear and stay at a lovely private lodge in a peaceful setting near the water that can only be accessed by foot or by boat. The tranquility of this place will have you not wanting to leave.


Make your own way to Havelock, the mussel capital of Marlborough Sounds located roughly halfway between Nelson and Picton. Check-in to your trip accommodation any time after 2:00pm. Take some time to explore this quiet little village at the head of Pelorus Sound. Visit the local museum, wander along the marina with its flotilla of boats or sample some local produce. Freshly prepared green-lipped mussels are the signature dish and are not to be missed!

Meals:  Nil

Meet this morning at the Mail Boat shed at the Havelock Marina (an easily identified central location) for a 9:30am road transfer to Kaiuma Bay, the southern trailhead for the Nydia Track. The journey is approximately 45 mins and is mostly on a narrow, winding unsealed road. The Nydia Track is a series of old bridle paths linked together, passing through farmland, a variety of native and regenerating forests and tracing the shoreline of Nydia Bay where logging activities occurred from 1876 until 1919. There is little evidence of this in present times. Walk the first part of the track today, through regenerating and beech forest, gradually ascending until Kaiuma Saddle (387m), which is about halfway for today and the highest point on the trail. The view is far-reaching and on a clear day it is possible to see the Marlborough region's highest peak, Tapuae-o-Uenuku (2885m) in the Kaikoura Ranges. From here the track is all downhill, crossing a stream and farmland before reaching the shore of Nydia Bay. The lovely On The Track Lodge in its peaceful surrounds is your base for the next two nights. NOTE: You will need to bring your own packed lunch today.

Meals:  D

Today is completely at your leisure, depending on how much or little you feel like doing. Explore some local trails, meander around Nydia Bay or perhaps take a kayak from the lodge and enjoy some casual water activities. Alternatively, relax in the hot tub, read a book or just absorb the peace and tranquility of this beautifully remote location. All meals today are provided by the lodge, including a picnic lunch.

Meals:  B,L,D

Collect your packed lunch from the lodge after breakfast this morning and continue walking the Nydia Track, following the shoreline along the edge of the bay where saw milling activities once occurred. Turning inland the track then climbs to Nydia Saddle (347m) from where there are lovely views of Tennyson Inlet, your destination today. Cross the saddle and descend to sea level once again, passing through some of the most beautiful native forest on the track including giant rimu, nikau, beech and tree ferns. Your driver will be waiting at Duncan Bay, the northern trailhead, to collect you at around 3:30pm. Transfer back to Havelock (a journey of about 1.5 hrs) where trip arrangements end on arrival at approximately 5:00pm.

Meals:  B,L



The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


  • 1 night motel in Havelock (twinshare) with private bathroom
  • 2 nights private lodge (twinshare) with shared bathroom
  • 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
  • Complimentary coffee and cake on arrival at private lodge
  • Road transfers to/from trailheads from/to Havelock
  • App with map and route notes
  • PLB - Personal Locator Beacon (must be returned as per instructions at the conclusion of the trip otherwise extra charges will apply)

  • Travel to Havelock on Day 1 and onwards from Havelock on Day 4
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks - limited selection available for purchase at the lodge
  • Optional activities, extras, upgrades
  • Items of a personal nature (eg. laundry, shopping, internet)
  • Daypack and water bottle
  • Car parking in Havelock (if required)
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)

Trail Surface



Moderate to Challenging  

MODERATE TO CHALLENGING: These adventures involve walking for up to 6 or 7 hours a day at a steady pace. You will need a good level of fitness and must be in good health. Treks may involve carrying a full pack around 15kg and tramping/hiking boots are necessary. Be prepared for potential variable weather conditions. Tracks may be unformed, rough and steep with potential for unbridged stream or river crossings. Tracks are suitable for those with moderate to high level backcountry (remote area) experience, navigation and survival skills. Suggested preparation: We recommend 45 minutes of aerobic type exercise, three to four times a week. Hill walking with a pack in variable weather conditions is also recommended.

Departure dates

Daily from October to end of April


An upgrade to sleep in a 1930's restored train carriage with ensuite bathroom at the lodge is possible, subject to availability. Extra charges apply
Due to its remote location, availability at the lodge may be subject to a minimum number of guests booked in at any one time to be a guaratneed departure.
Stays during a public holidays will incur an additional surcharge.
Due to the remoteness of the track and reduced cell phone coverage, we do not recommend this trip for solo travellers. Please speak to us if you are a solo traveller.

Want to organise a customised tour?

School groups, friends, family trips, corporate events and even making the trail accessible for everyone. Learn how you can organise a Customised Tour with Great Walks of New Zealand.

Priceper person from


Options & Supplements*
  • Upgrade to train carriage with ensuite (double only)NZD$60
  • Havelock Garden Motel - Single SupplementNZD$120
  • Single supplement (own room)NZD$750
  • Solo Traveller SurchargeNZD$750
*Prices listed are per person and also from

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Nydia Track Self-Guided Walk trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.

Trip reviews

Why walk with us

Self-Guided Experts

Our itineraries have been carefully designed and researched with you in mind.  The logistics are handled for you allowing you the freedom to walk New Zealand at a level of your choosing and in your own stride.


A core Maori value exercising guardianship in relation to nature, flora and fauna and its people, ensuring that sustainability and environment are valued, respected and protected for future generations to enjoy.

Supporting Local

As a small business ourselves, we love supporting and sharing New Zealand with other small and likeminded businesses and communities to showcase for you, what our land and people have to offer.

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