The track starts in Kerr Bay, on the edge of Lake Rotoiti in St Arnaud.
St Arnaud is 88 km from Nelson on SH6, 129 km from Picton on SH63, 157 km from Wesport on SH6 and SH63, and 350 km from Christchurh on SH65 and SH6.
Nature and conservation
Dense beech forest towers over a carpet of vivid green mosses and ferns for much of the walk. In summer, red rātā flowers provide a brilliant contrast to the predominance of greenery. A rare stand of rimu trees in the area can be seen on the easternshore, about two-thirds of the way to Lakehead Hut. On the western side of the lake, beech forest and regenerating forest of mānuka and kānuka clothe the lower slopes of Pourangahau/Mt Robert.
The most numerous and vocal birds encountered along this walk are the nectar-feeding tūī and bellbirds. Keep an eyeout for the native forest birds that feed on insects, such as the fantail, tomtit and bush robin. If you are fortunate, you may also hear or see the noisy kākā along the way.
Know before you go
- Be prepared with warm and waterproof clothing. Nelson Lakes National Park is in an alpine area – freezing conditions can occur at any time of year.
- No rubbish facilities are provided – carry out all your rubbish.
- Biting sandflies can detract for your experience at the lakes, especially during the summer months – cover up and apply a good quality insect repellant to exposed skin.
- Wasps are a known hazard and are particularly common from December until April – carry antihistamine if you are allergic to their stings.