22 - Branford Park
There are hard and soft options on this walk, which takes you around the walking tracks on both sides of the lower Maitai Valley.
Time: 1 - 2 1/2 hours
Area: East Nelson
Note: Branford Park, Hanby Park and the Botanical Reserve are dog exercise areas.
Start Location: Branford Park car park, left off Maitai Valley Road before Gibbs Bridge.
From the car park area, take the track left through the bush alongside Branford Park. Coming out at the southern end of Branford Park*, walk down to the end of the grass by the old quarry. Carry on down the footpath and turn right by the Maitai letter boxes to follow the signs over the lower part of the hill to the Botanics playing field.
Cross the field and head for the Hardy Street footbridge over the Maitai River. Turn left to follow the Maitai River track. You will pass under Nile Street Bridge and Cloustons Bridge**. Follow the track past Hanby Park and Black Hole, a popular summer swimming spot. The other side of the river has barbecues and a picnic area. When you reach Gibbs Bridge, leave the Maitai Track to cross the bridge and the Maitai Valley Road to return to your start point.
Options *A harder option is to head to the summit of the Centre of NZ or head up the track next to the bike slalom course (see optional route marked on map).
**Before passing under Cloustons Bridge, head up Nile Street East and take the short track up the hill and to the left to see great views of the Maitai Valley and Nelson.