The Maitai Valley to the east of Nelson city is a popular recreational area, with numerous picnic and swimming spots. These include Black Hole, Dennes Hole, Sunday Hole, Sharlands Hole, the Maitai Reserve and Smith's Ford. Nine kilometres up the river is the Maitai Dam, Nelson's main water supply.
The Maitai is a great playground for Nelson, as well as being the main source of Nelson's fresh water. And if you think it all ends at the golf course - think again. The council-owned land extends over 10,000 hectares up the Maitai Valley, and beyond to the Brook and Roding reserves in adjacent valleys to the south and west.