Introduction

Find out about walking to Angelus Hut in summer, between November and April.

You must be fit enough to walk for 2–3 days, up to 12.2 km for 6 hours per day and climb to 1,800 m. You must be comfortable on rough terrain and without a fear of heights.

Walking options

There are four options to reach Angelus Hut (described in more detail below):

Pinchgut Track, Robert Ridge Route
The most popular route in fine weather. Expect ice and snow during winter and spring. A very exposed ridge subject to high wind and poor visibility. There is no water along the track/route.

Speargrass Track, Speargrass Creek Route
This route is often used to exit Rotomaninitua/Lake Angelus in bad weather. There are unbridged stream crossings, and the route is marked with poles for navigation. There may be muddy sections below the bush edge.

Travers – Cascade Track/Route
Expect ice and snow during winter and spring. Above the bush edge route navigation is via poles and cairns. From May to November, the bridge over the Hukere Stream is removed due to avalanche risk. After rain and during snow melt, crossing the river can be difficult – take extreme care.

Mt Cedric Track/Route
This route would only be used by trampers accessing Angelus Hut via the Travers–Sabine Circuit. There is no water along the track/route. Expect ice and snow during winter and spring. The track is a steep climb to the bush edge. Route navigation above the bush edge is via poles and cairns. A very exposed ridge, subject to high winds and poor visibility.

Fees and bookings

Hut

Adults (18+ years) - $30.00
Youth (5-17 years) - $15.00
Child/Infant (0-4 years) - Free

Maximum stay is 2 nights.

Campsite

Adults (18+ years) - $15.00
Youth (5-17 years) - $7.50
Child/Infant (0-4 years) - Free

Pay at the time of booking. Backcountry Hut Passes and Backcountry Hut Tickets can't be used at this hut.

Bookings

From 30 November 2020, bookings are required all year.

Book Angelus Hut and campsite online

Pinchgut Track, Robert Ridge Route

Time: 6 hr
Distance:12.2 km

From the Mt Robert car park, a steep zigzag track (the Pinchgut Track) climbs up to the junction with Paddys Track (Bushline Hut is 30 min from junction). The Pinchgut Track ends and the route along the ridge is marked with poles.

The route follows a broad ridge to Julius Summit (1794 m). From here the route has some sharp and rocky sections. Take care here in icy or winter conditions as accidents have occurred on this section. Continue past the junction with the Speargrass Creek Route (30 min from Angelus Hut) onto the ridge overlooking the Angelus basin. Follow the poles down to the lake and hut.

There is no water along the track/route so remember to carry your own. Be prepared for snow and ice during winter and spring. Robert Ridge is very exposed and is subject to high winds and poor visibility at any time of year.

Getting there

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.

Speargrass Track, Speargrass Creek Route

Time: 6 hr
Distance: 11.2 km

From the Mt Robert car park follow Speargrass Track to the Speargrass Creek Route junction approximately 5 min before Speargrass Hut. From the car park to the track junction takes approximately 2 hr 30 min.

From the track junction it is a poled route with many unbridged stream crossings up Te Horowai/Speargrass Creek; it intersects with the Mt Robert Ridge Route 10 minutes short of the view overlooking the Angelus basin. Follow the poles to the lake and hut. Expect muddy sections below the bush edge.

This way is often used in bad weather.

Getting there

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.

Travers – Cascade Track/Route

Time: 6 hr
Distance: 9.4 km

From St Arnaud the options are to walk to either Lakehead Hut (9 km, 3 hr) or Coldwater Hut (12 km, 4 hr). From Coldwater Hut to the Cascade Track junction it is 2 hr. From Lakehead Hut it is also 2 hr to the Cascade Track junction. Note this includes crossing the unbridged Travers River. If the Travers River is in flood a swingbridge is located 1 hr 30 min upstream.

From the Cascade Track junction it’s a steady climb for 4 hr min alongside the Hukere Stream. The track ends at the bush edge. Climb the steep poled route to Angelus Hut.

Snow and ice can create hazards requiring suitable experience and equipment to safely negotiate this route. From May to November, the bridge over the Hukere Stream is removed due to avalanche risk. After rain and during snow melt, crossing the river can be difficult – take extreme care.

Getting there

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.

Mt Cedric Track/Route (from Sabine Hut)

Time: 6 hr
Distance: 6.8 km

This is a very steep route to the Angelus basin which is exposed above the bush edge.

The track begins behind Sabine Hut and climbs very steeply and steadily to the bush edge. Poles and cairns mark the route from here, which eventually drops off the eastern side of a high ridge of Mt Cedric (1,532 m) and onto Rotomaninitua/Lake Angelus.

There is no water along the track/route. Snow and ice can create hazards – make sure you have the experience and equipment to safely negotiate this route.

Side trips from Angelus Hut

In summer the best side trip from the hut is the climb of Maniniaro/Angelus Peak (2,075 m). If the mountain is clear of snow, no special equipment or experience is required.

The less energetic could climb to Sunset Saddle and then traverse west for 10 min to the Travers Range. This provides spectacular views of the D’Urville and Sabine rivers twisting lazily to the head of Lake Rotoroa.

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.

What to take

Pack a range of equipment for warm, cold, windy or wet conditions. You will need at least one set of clothes to walk in and another dry set to change into at night. Cotton clothing is not suitable; wool and modern synthetics are better as they dry quickly and give more warmth.

Take a day’s spare food in case of delay due to weather conditions.

Know before you go

Weather

Hospitable and welcoming on a fine day, the Angelus basin and the alpine access routes are prone to sudden weather changes bringing freezing winds and snow at any time of the year. Even small streams are dangerous in flood. Winter conditions or bad weather could slow or stop your progress to or from the hut. A fall onto hard or icy snow could be lethal. Snow avalanches are possible.

Sandflies

Sandflies are tiny black insects that cause itchy bites. Cover up and use insect repellent.

Wasps

There are many wasps in the area, especially from January to April. Consider carrying an antihistamine product and, if you are allergic to stings, ensure you bring your medication.

Giardia

Giardia has not been found in waters along the track but its presence cannot be dismissed. To avoid giardia, water should be boiled, chemically treated or filtered.

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