Nelson’s best kept secret – The Cobb Valley

I have just returned from a 4 day trip into the Cobb Valley, the third such trip since I have discovered the place!! This is a big thing coming from an adventurer with a hundred million places still on her list, visiting more than once generally means I have fallen just a little bit more in love with the place as compared with other destinations.

This place is incredible!! One of the things I love most though is that anyone can enjoy this place. There is a camping area and a hut at the road end for those who don’t want to walk far. You can fish, you can hike, you can swim.

The tracks in this valley range from a short walk of an hour and a half to see the cutest hut in all the world, to trips of varying lengths more than this right up to multiday hiking. For the super adventurous and the more experienced, there is also a heap of opportunitys to get off track following ridgeline routes with incredible views!!!

Looking back down the Fenella Valley en route to Fenella Hut.

Ive been to a bunch of places in here including up the Fenella Valley to stay at Fenella Hut which is one of the best walks at the dam. It will take you 4 hours to get to this hut and it boasts the best swimming hole I’ve seen in all my life!! There is also plenty to see enroute, and while I totally recommend staying up there, it could be done as a day trip 🙂

This last trip though I spent mainly up at Sylvester Hut which is just 2 hours walk from the roadend and is a well graded track. It is however a good uphill hike of about 500m. Just 30 minutes further on is Lake Sylvester which is insanely beautiful.

Sylvester Hut and its incredible views!!

If you are visiting the Nelson area I totally recommend that you get out here and spend some time enjoying the place – you’ll absolutely love it, if even for just a Sunday drive 🙂

It’s approximately 2 hours drive from Nelson, turning off just prior to Takaka. From the turn off its a long, winding, skinny, gravel road. Four wheel drives are perfect, and you will get up here fine by car, but it is NOT suitable for campers or caravans!!

For more information about getting here, and about the tracks and huts visit the Nelson I-site which also hosts a DOC office where they can give you all the information you need and you can get your passes or tickets for the huts if required.

Roadside picture of Cobb Dam


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