Nelson Lakes National Park

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Nelson Lakes National Park
IUCN category II (national park)
Peaks between Hukere Stream and Shift Creek valley, Nelson Lakes National Park, New Zealand.jpg
Peaks between Hukere Stream and Shift Creek valley, Nelson Lakes National Park
LocationTasman District
Nearest cityNelson
Coordinates41°49′9″S 172°50′15″E / 41.81917°S 172.83750°E / -41.81917; 172.83750Coordinates: 41°49′9″S 172°50′15″E / 41.81917°S 172.83750°E / -41.81917; 172.83750
Area1,018.8 km2 (393.4 sq mi)
Governing bodyDepartment of Conservation

Nelson Lakes National Park is located in the South Island of New Zealand.

It was formed in 1956 and covers some 1,019 square kilometres (393 sq mi).[1] It is centered at two large lakes, Rotoiti and Rotoroa. The park also includes surrounding valleys (including Travers, Sabine, and D'Urville, upper reaches of the Matakitaki) and mountain ranges (Saint Arnaud Range, Mount Robert). The park is a popular area for camping, tramping and fishing.

The park is administered by the Department of Conservation who operate a Visitors Centre in Saint Arnaud that provides up to date and reliable information on all aspects of the National Park.

Access to the Park[edit]

The main access point to Nelson Lakes National Park is at Lake Rotoiti and the village of Saint Arnaud, on Highway 63, about 100 kilometres from both Nelson and Blenheim. A secondary access point is at Lake Rotoroa, turning off New Zealand State Highway 6 at Gowanbridge. Shuttle services operate between St Arnaud, Nelson, Blenheim and Picton.


The main campgrounds are on the shores of Lake Rotoiti; there is a smaller campground at Lake Rotoroa.

There is a network of tramping tracks throughout the park. Tracks range from short nature walks at Lake Rotoiti and Lake Rotorua, to multi-day backcountry tramps. Day tramps include the Lake Rotoiti circuit, St. Arnaud Range and Mt. Robert. The most popular long-distance tramping routes are the Travers-Sabine Circuit and other loops through Lake Angelus. The Te Araroa trail also passes through the park over Waiau Pass.

The skifield on Mt. Robert is no longer operational. Rainbow Ski Area is located on the eastern side of the St Arnaud range, just outside the park.

Other activities include mountaineering, boating and fishing, and mountain biking. See the DOC web site for more information.


Nelson Lakes National Park contains 20 Department of Conservation huts, ranging in quality from 'basic hut/bivvy' to 'serviced hut'.

Name Type Coordinates
Angelus Hut Serviced Hut 172.748693 -41.888246
Blue Lake Hut Serviced Hut 172.655727 -42.057953
Bobs Hut Standard Hut 172.486414 -42.224767
Burn Creek Hut Basic Hut/bivvy 172.449249 -42.156507
Bushline Hut Serviced Hut 172.823098 -41.836731
Coldwater Hut Standard Hut 172.81704 -41.870353
Cupola Hut Standard Hut 172.732832 -41.971811
D'Urville Hut Standard Hut 172.645719 -41.905763
East Matakitaki Hut Standard Hut 172.556883 -42.194457
George Lyon (formerly Ella) Hut Standard Hut 172.605047 -42.046982
Hopeless Hut Standard Hut 172.756489 -41.930388
John Tait Hut Serviced Hut 172.768776 -41.974654
Lakehead Hut Serviced Hut 172.821978 -41.875648
Morgan Hut Standard Hut 172.630071 -41.982559
Mount Misery Hut Basic Hut/bivvy 172.669499 -41.933089
Nardoo Hut Basic Hut/bivvy 172.429207 -42.096966
Sabine Hut Serviced Hut 172.680706 -41.901372
Upper D'Urville Hut Basic Hut/bivvy 172.605865 -42.108211
Upper Travers Hut Serviced Hut 172.748747 -42.022114
West Sabine Hut Serviced Hut 172.683954 -42.007795

Rotoiti Mainland Island[edit]

The Rotoiti Mainland Island consists of 5000 hectares of beech forest around Lake Rotoiti. There is a project which aims to eliminate introduced pests such as stoats, possums, wasps and rodents, and allow recovery of the forests and native wildlife populations.

Panoramic view of Lake Rotoiti and the Saint Arnaud Range from Robert Ridge

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Data Table - Protected Areas - LINZ Data Service". Land Information New Zealand. Retrieved 2017-10-18.

External links[edit]