Blogs from Nelson Lakes National Park, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania

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Arriving in St Arnaud, another small town - hamlet? - in the 'wop wops' was stunning. Beautifully designed houses set among trees, towering hills or mountains as their backdrop and just a stone's throw from Lake Rotoiti. While there had been no fresh for several days, the peaks were still snowy and highlighted in white. It was very windy; then, it got stronger overnight! We had left a cosy 18C in Marahau, now it was just 4C. Our choice of walk for the day was dictated by our kit and the snowline; the anticipated 5 hour round trip of Mount Robert wasn't to be. So choosing a lower route through bush at first, then taking the trail up the mountain to detour, was actually a great find. The route opened up to views back over the ... read more
Nelson Lakes NP
Lake Rotoiti
Nelson Lakes NP


Our last hiking adventure to South Island, New Zealand in February-March 2018 was fantastic! Period!. We had some great hiking in the Mount Richmond Alpine Park which we accessed via Nelson, we also had some wild weather from the get go when we flew from Sydney to Christchurch and right into the CYCLONE GITA that affected many parts of the South Island (including some townships being cut off by landslide damage and extensive road closures). All internal NZ flights into and out of Christchurch were cancelled so we had to scramble to find a hotel room in Christchurch and it was crazy as so many visitors were in same predicament as us.....we tried booking rooms using online services but when we called the actual hotel to make sure we had a physical room, it was often ... read more
Slaty Hut - Mt Richmond Alpine National Park
Slaty Hut to Mt Rintout
Lake Chalice


Christ, it knows how to rain here. The cyclone split in two, clobbered places north and south of where we were and pretty much left us alone. So Day 2 of the tour dawned bright and beautiful, with departure planned for nine o’clock. And therefore, when we were still faffing about at ten thirty, it was bound to mean trouble ahead, trouble in the form of rain. Heavy rain. Heading south from Nelson, it took fourteen glorious minutes of riding in sunshine for us to encounter the first splash of the stuff. Hah! I thought. Cunningly, we had brought our BMW Rallye 3 suits that had a gore-tex inner lining for just such an eventuality. These liners were stored in the panniers. But since the tough exterior Cordura fabric would probably hold out until we got ... read more
Lunch Stop
Cheltenham House, Hamner Spings
Unused Snooker Facility


My third entry for the trip to South Island will be shorter and more succinct as I can tell, but not show in too much detail, what we've been up to. Firstly, if you are ever in Central South Island, around Nelson Lakes, then I FIRMLY recommend you camp at Murchison. The hosts are welcoming, it's very clean and a perfect base for adventure. Secondly, I did what I said I would in the post 2 days ago on day 3 : I rested and fished in the Buller River for the day. Wowzers! 6 very large fresh water fish caught on Spam! I released them all as fresh water fish always tastes like mud to me. BBQ garlic lamb shish kebabs. Bed. Thirdly : You are going to be bitten a lot by Sandflies, mossies ... read more
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Après 1 semaine passée à Nelson, nous prenons la route vers les Nelson Lakes (Rotoiti et Rotoroa). Le temps est clément et nous profitons donc des paysages enchantés de l'automne... mais aussi des températures qui descendent rapidement! On découvre déjà les bords de route gelés et la neige sur les toits des voitures. Au bout d'1h30 nous arrivons au lac Rotoiti. La température glaciale et l'air humide ne nous incitent pas à prendre un des chemins de randonnée proposés, aussi simples soient-ils. On profite juste du moment et d'être là, dans un lieu magique, au calme et entouré de chants d'oiseaux qui se répondent. L'accès au lac Rotoroa se trouve bien plus loin par la route et encore plus par un sentier de randonnée. Nous ne nous y arrêtons pas car nous avons beaucoup de route ... read more
entre Nelson et Nelson Lakes
entre Nelson et Nelson Lakes
entre Nelson et Nelson Lakes


Je quitte Takaka vers midi le 4 janvier, mon colis n'est toujours pas arrivé...rien ne sert de l'attendre je dois organiser le transfert depuis la nouvelle poste de réception. Arrivée à Nelson Lake National Park vers 17h, Susan et Cécile sont encore là. Nous mangeons ensemble. Elles partent le lendemain, on échange nos programmes. Le lendemain rando de 24 km pour moi (rando de deux jours, bouclée en un jour car la hut Angelus est complète) Superbe, mais j'ai modifié le chemin de retour pour faire une boucle, et cela c'est avéré compliqué, descente dans un canyon, au milieu d'une rivière qui commençait en ruisseau et fini en gros torrent, à traverser plusieurs fois... puis un jeu de piste pour daltonien : trouver les triangles oranges en forêt... ma patience à été mise à l'épreuve... Aujourd'hui ... read more
Lake Rotoiti au reveil
Content de trouver la neige
Rando Hut Angelus


This morning Robin and Sandra drove us to Glenhope to visit Sandra's brother, Paul and his wife, Jean. Paul and Jean have 100 acres of land bordering Kahurangi National Park. When we arrived Jean greeted us with a pump pack of Nivea hand lotion which she recommended that we put on to deter the sandflies. Somewhat sceptical I slathered my arms with Nivea and then sprayed Aeroguard on my pants and around my hiking boots ... just to be sure! Jean is an avid collector, keen gardener and talented artist and they have created an amazing property that is a mixture of sheep farm, river, botanic garden, bush, museum, art gallery and home. They purchased the property about 15 years ago from the leader of a commune whose followers had deserted him. It is completely off ... read more
Jean's amazing room of collectibles
The big lake
The outhouse


We escaped Sydney and all the lead up mayhem of the annual Christmas celebrations to head across the Tasman to Picton in the South Island of New Zealand for the start of Dave’s adventure program (22+ days of hiking – largely no electricity, no wifi, no hot showers, no ‘get out of jail’ cards….you get the vibe). Side note: we had experienced the amazing Department of Conservation (DoC) series of Tramping Huts located on various trails, when we did some hikes in Queenstown / Wanaka back in Jan/Feb 2014 –refer earlier post Queen Charlotte Sound (QCS) track – The Warm Up 4 days of hiking (Mon 7/12 to Fri 11/12) We started with our ‘warm up’ hike to awaken our legs, feet and backs with a 4 day-hike of the Queen Charlotte Sound (QCS) track, which ... read more
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QCS walk
Crystal Clear....


Hi everyone, well we left CLOSED up Greymouth !! and moved onto Nelson which took about 5 hours. We decided to get up at 6.00am and take the costal road along to Nelson. Fortunately, the local chap in the brewery told us to take this road and we wouldn't be sorry. So glad we did because we headed for the 'Pancake Rocks and Blowholes' and they were truly amazing. Very large rocks in all shapes and sizes coming out of the sea with the waves crashing all around and inside them. Even saw a rainbow over them and lighting from the Sunrise hitting different parts of it, really very lovely. Onward we went through lovely scenery, mountains, hills, farms and small towns, when we finally came to Nelson. This looked a bright sunny place, down by ... read more
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So the day after writing my last post I spent the day walking around Lake Rotoura, looking at the vents of steam on the floor and breathing in the eggy smelling air. As the north island of new Zealand is on a tectonic plate there are areas which are exposed to lava and extreme temperatures. Going a tad stir crazy I took a stroll to the local park and dunked my feet in the hot spring that was free for all to use. Later that day I treated myself to a Polynesian Spar, relaxing in 42 degree water ( which smelt like eggs/sulphur.) Should anyone have walked past me I would have surely smelt of eggyness. In the evening I was quite tired from swimming/lazing as being in the water always makes me sleepy so I ... read more
Foot Dip
Mt Doom
Copper Lakes




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