Walkers looking across Lake Rotoiti from Pinchgut Track
This well marked, well-formed circuit combines the Pinchgut Track and Paddy's Track.
The Pinchgut Track zigzags up the steep, bare face of Pourangahau/Mount Robert on a well graded track before entering beech forest. After climbing for one and a half hours, you reach the bush edge, where the forest gives way to alpine herbs and shrubs.
From here the track continues across the open ridge top and reaches Relax Shelter. At a junction just past the shelter, Paddy’s Track begins and heads east to Bushline Hut, a great place to stop for lunch or stay overnight.
To complete the circuit walk, head down to Mt Robert Road on Paddy's Track and walk 500 m along the road back to the car park.
You can begin the Mount Robert Circuit along Paddy’s Track, which cuts across the mountain’s open face and crosses several scree-filled gullies before climbing to Bushline Hut.
To complete the circuit, take the track across the ridge top and return to Mt Robert car park via the Pinchgut Track.
Facilities: 14 bunk beds, heating, mattresses
Bookings not required - first come, first served
From St Arnaud, follow SH 63 west for 2 km, then turn into Mount Robert Road. Follow this for 4.9 km to the car park at the end. Pinchgut Track starts from the car park; Paddy's Track start 500 m before the car park.
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.
Know before you go
- The gate at the bottom of Mount Robert Road is locked when the road is icy.
- The Mt Robert Road car park is prone to break-ins – don't leave valuables in your vehicle. A bag storage facility is available at the Rotoiti/Nelson Lakes Visitor Centre.
- 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.