Tramper on the Travers-Sabine
Image: Ben Beiske | Creative Commons


The Travers-Sabine Circuit is a medium to hard tramp traversing 80 km of river valleys and an alpine pass in Nelson Lakes National Park.


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Tranquil beech forests, fields of waving tussocks, 2000 m high mountains and clear rushing streams are highlights of the journey.

The circuit requires 4-7 days to complete and involves a crossing of Poukirikiri/Travers Saddle, an alpine pass subject to freezing conditions at any time of year.

Most of the track is classified as a tramping track. It is well marked and although most rivers and streams are bridged, after heavy rain there are a number of streams which may not be safe to cross. Sturdy boots and a good standard of fitness are recommended and warm, waterproof clothing is essential.

Angelus is a popular side trip off the Travers-Sabine Circuit. 

St Arnaud is 1 hour 30 minutes by road from Nelson or Blenheim. Lake Rotoroa is a further 30 minutes.

A number of companies offer bus services to St Arnaud. Water taxis operate all year round on both lakes. More information is available at the Nelson Lakes Visitor Centre.

Track overview

80 km loop

Walking and tramping

4 - 7 days Advanced: Tramping track

Seasonal restrictions

Summer season

You must have a booking to stay in the hut or campsite at Lake Angelus in the peak summer season, late November to 30 April. 

Winter season

In the off-peak, winter season, 1 May to late November, bookings are not required and you pay by Backcountry Hut Pass or Backcountry Hut Tickets.

Dog access

No dogs


Rotoiti / Nelson Lakes Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 521 1806
Address:   View Road
St Arnaud
Full office details
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