Ngawhatu Explorer start Ridgeway - Course Description

Ngawhatu Explorer start/finish Ridgeway/Baigent corner.

Strava segment & leader board here.

Printable pdf here

Link to route in Google Maps here

The Strava Route Map is slightly wrong, it does not show the course going up the LHS of Orphanage Stream. The printed instructions are correct.

RunGo "Ngawhatu Explorer - Stoke Start" audio cues here

Photos included below.

The segment starts at the corner of Baigent Rd and The Ridgeway. The route involves grass/gravel/dirt/seal and a few hills.

Overlap your start and finish, so come from the direction of Nelson along the LHS of the Ridgeway when you start, and run past the corner and down the Ridgeway towards Stoke when you finish. Use this segment as part of a longer run, keep your watch running as you pass through both the start and finish.

Head down the LHS of the Ridgeway towards Stoke, safely crossing to RHS pavement after Torlesse St. Past the roundabout. Then RIGHT into Coster St and the first climb. Follow Coster St as it winds up the hill, first to the right, then to the left and finally flat as it passes new townhouses and then across a flat rough area of unfinished road to the gate at “Old” Coster St. There’s a gap to the right of the gate to squeeze through – touch free.

Follow Coster St as it flows round the hill for 500m, then LEFT down Waterhouse Street, straight down to Waimea Rd. Safely cross over Waimea Road and into Cawthron Crescent. Look out for the small Cawthron Reserve on the RHS, turn RIGHT into here and cut diagonally across, veering left, and pop out, turning LEFT onto the Railway Reserve. Follow the cycleway, safely crossing Gracefield St, across the cycle overbridge, turning LEFT by the rain gauge, and RIGHT onto the flat Railway Reserve in the Richmond direction.

Follow the Railway Reserve all the way to Bunnings. Safely crossing all the roads. Run on the grass if you want to keep the cross country feel!

After Bunnings, turn LEFT, then through the underpass, keep RIGHT and turn RIGHT onto the gravel path anti-clockwise around the “Circus” oval. Follow the gravel path to Saxton Road, cross over safely and then follow the grassy LHS of Orphanage Creek. Follow the wide grassy berm, passing the first concrete bridge, keeping on the LHS grassy berm. At the second bridge, turn right and cross the stream and turn LEFT into Suffolk Rd.

Cross safely immediately to RHS, stay on RHS pavement and cross the bridge over Orphanage Creek, then immediately turn RIGHT up the grassy berm on LHS of Orphanage Creek. Follow the grassy berm, with the creek close on your Right all the way, as far as possible, eventually coming out in a very small reserve. Follow your nose, keeping on the RHS of the reserve, and then the track leads you up to Montebello Rd and the majestic gate posts/pillars.

Head RIGHT (uphill) on Montebello Rd until the junction with Sunningdale Drive (about 300m) and then take the obvious very steep zigzaggy white concrete path on your RIGHT, rising up from the corner of Sunningdale & Montebello. Follow this steep uphill track to the top and then continue on Hill Tops Way to the brow of the hill, following the road left and descend steeply.

At the bottom, veer LEFT then RIGHT towards the old swimming pool building in front of you, pass close to the building with it on your RIGHT and then turn RIGHT (red & white bollards) down a sealed track along the side of the building. Follow this sealed track down into the valley and then continue over the grass on a dirt footpath up the obvious stopbank in front of you.

Turn RIGHT on the stopbank and follow the path which soon drops left off the stopbank. This path eventually brings you to the new road bridge over the stream. Turn LEFT & cross the bridge and continue on the gravel road to the base of the steep hill.

Climb the loose gravel 4wd track – hard work & loose footing! When it final levels out a bit, look out for a narrow black tarmac track on the RIGHT. (If you reach the end of the gravel track, you have gone too far!)

Go up the relentless steep zigzaggy black track to pop out onto Huntaway Close. Follow the road LEFT slightly uphill, past the barriers, and into the housing and finally downhill! Turn LEFT into Woolshed Drive, then RIGHT into Quail Rise, heading downhill all the time.

Stay on the LHS as you descend, and 300m from the previous junction, on the LEFT after the housing finishes, you will see a footpath leading up a grassy ridge to some trees and a wooden fence & gate. Turn LEFT up this footpath and pass through the gate (locked open).

This track takes you through to Marsden Cemetery. Veer slight LEFT and join the sealed service road when you reach it. (Do NOT carry on along the gravel track over the next chain as this takes you through all the graves).

Follow the service road downhill to the next junction and turn RIGHT (against flow of one-way traffic marking). Follow this nice curved road, to the roundabout (about 150m) and look out for a gravel track on your RIGHT dropping down through the trees. Follow this zigzag gravel track down and to the LEFT, looking for the Caretaker’s yard. Pass alongside the fence to the yard, with the fence on your LEFT shoulder.

Then the path veers RIGHT and drops down a grassy bank and pops you out on the downhill side of the Marsden Valley Road bridge.

This next bit has changed due to the building of a dog exercise park - but you are still trying to get over to the gate and the track in the corner.

Turn RIGHT (uphill), cross the bridge and safely immediately cross over the road, jump the low chain barrier into the paddock, and veer diagonally to your RIGHT across the paddock, keeping the copse of pine trees on your RIGHT. Head to the far right corner and a track leading up out of the paddock past an old forestry gate. Climb the main narrow, gently rising track, heading LEFT towards the sea (ignoring the first inconspicuous track junction) and then reach a wider sharp turn RIGHT and continue up the rough track to finally pop out onto Panorama Drive.

Turn RIGHT, continue on, slight uphill, up Panorama Drive, then LEFT at the next roundabout down Citrus Lane. At the very end of Citrus Lane, go down the narrow steep concrete alleyway/path, and then RIGHT at the next path junction, sidling around the hill towards Nelson. Then follow Newman Drive downhill, past Boyes Place, and then LEFT into Baigent Road (slight short up and over), finally hitting the Ridgeway and turning LEFT past the starting point. Keep your watch running and jog home.

Well done.