38 - Grampians Walkway
A moderately hard walk up through the hills that form Nelson's backdrop. The Grampians are the big rolling hills behind Nelson, with pockets of regenerating native vegetation and exotic trees.
Time: 45 - 70 minute walk (longer options available)
Area: South Nelson
Start Location: Start at the corner of Brougham and Collingwood streets or from the centre of town walk via Selwyn Place and Collingwood Street. This part of Collingwood Street is steep but there is plenty of time to stop and take in the panoramic views on the way up. About half way up the street move over to the left and you'll see an easier route up some steps. At the top of Collingwood Street there is a map of the Grampians - there are numerous tracks to follow and you could spend hours walking all of them.
Go through the gate and up the zigzag path - follow the Grampians sign. Further up there is an arrow to the left and a seat for a well-earned rest at this point. Carrying on up you'll get to the top of the path at the trig point. There's another seat here for your next rest and a view out to the marina, the central city, and the Boulder Bank. From here make your way up through the trees, down a little gully and back up the other side through the eucalyptus - this can be a long haul so take your time. There is a stile to cross the fence and further up is a sign directing you right to the Ronaki Track. Walk through the gate and past a small grove of beech trees and start your descent down the zigzag track. Go through another gate and continue down the hill to the next gate, this time a kissing gate! From here keep to the main track (don't go along the four wheel drive track up to your right and don't go over the fence via the stile). From here you follow the sign to Endeavour Street and the Tawa Track till you get to the end. There is another kissing gate at the bottom. Continue down Endeavour Street, a very well established area of Nelson with some homes dating back to the turn of the last century.
Turn right when you get to the bottom at Rutherford Street and then right again into Van Diemen Street. Two of Nelson's historic homes are in this area. Fairfield House is on Van Diemen Street opposite Fairfield Park and further along in Brougham Street is Melrose House - both have their gardens open to the public.
Cross Van Diemen Street and walk through Fairfield Park - on the other side of the park either walk down to Brougham Street and turn right, or walk through Melrose Gardens, out on to Brougham Street and back to the start.