Top Ten New Zealand Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures

Tramping in the Nelson Lakes

Nelson Lakes National Park is the quieter cousin of the Kahurangi, which is home to the Heaphy Track—one of the best-known walking routes in New Zealand and a classified Great Walk. The sheer diversity of scenery and the high standard of tracks and huts make the Heaphy a classic—but it can be busy. Really busy. That's why Kiwis who want to escape the crowds head for St. Arnaud, jumping-off point for tramps in the Nelson Lakes area.

There are routes for walkers of all abilities—from the Travers-Sabine Circuit and the D'Urville Valley Track for experienced trampers, to lakeside rambles. A fun two- or three-day route for intermediate trampers short on time climbs from Lake Rotoiti, up the Robert Ridge along the Pinchgut Track to the Angelus Hut, then over Mt. Cedric and down to the Sabine Hut on the shores of Lake Rotoroa. Either hitch a ride on a ranger's boat or tramp down the lakeside track to Rotoroa and the road. The views across the Southern Alps are incredible, and the area offers a wonderful introduction to the alpine areas of New Zealand.


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