Tramping in Nelson Lakes National Park

Nelson Lakes national park is only 1 hour from Nelson and with 3 full days off work to explore it I wanted to make the most of it. After a quick weather check and a bit of planning we had planned a route which included 3 nights in different huts and climbing up to 1800m.

We left Nelson straight after I finished work and headed to Mt Robert car park where  we  would make a 1 hour ish tramp up the Paddy’s Track to Bushline Hut before night fall. Its handy having this hut so close to the road so you can get up early the next day and be ready to just go.

Lake Rotoiti

Sunset over Lake Rotoiti

We arrived just before dark to be the only people in the hut and cooked up a quick dinner before bed.

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Gourmet tramping cuisine!

The next days route was a 9km ish tramp along the Robert Ridge to the Angelus Hut. There are multiple route to get to this hut however, this one is probably the most popular as there is a bit more to see.

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The Kea Hut which is a private hut we passed on the way.

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Cherie looking out over the early morning cloud

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Crossing lush alpine meadows for the first half

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After a few kms the track gets a little more challenging, even narrow in places.

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Looking down into the 4th Basin. First glimpse of Mt. Angelus on the far right.

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Looking back along at the Robert Ridge and the track we had just done.

After only 4 hours including a good few stops for food we caught our first look at our accommodation for the evening. It one of the most popular huts in the area and requires bookings, the previous weekend had seen all 28 bunks full. Being a Monday night though only saw about 10 of us there including the warden from all over the globe including Aussies, Austrians, French, Mexican and Spanish. Always end up meeting some really interesting folk in huts which made for a pretty chilled out evening of discussions in the dark.

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Can just make out the hut middle left of Lake Anelus

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Still plenty of snow up here, 4 days earlier there had been a fresh dusting!

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Drying out the boots and socks

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The Hinapouri Tarn bellow Mt Angelus

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The Angelus Hut

After a good sleep, despite one of our room wee sleep walking excursion in the night, it was time for our next days tramping where we planned to head 5hrs down the Cascade Track to the Coldwater Hut. The first 1/4 of this track was steep as and descended through some pretty interesting sections at times, you would really want to slip here.

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The cloud clearing just in time for our decent.

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Doesn’t really do it justice to how steep it was, glad we were going down it and not up!

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Cherie pointing out the route we just came down.

The next part of the trail descended along the Hukere Stream through beautiful beach forests and low valley meadows. No photos can do justice to how beautiful this was but here are a few attempts.

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The Travers River on its way to Lake Rotoiti

We arrived at the Coldwater hut at 2pm and still feeling surprisingly fresh we decided to carry on the extra 2.5hrs back to the Mt Robert Car park. This was also a tactical choice as it means we have to go back and stay another time! A full 20kms of tramping with heavy packs resulted in some pretty sore legs the next day though. Excited for the next trip to the area though and  already got a route sorted!

Whisky Falls

Whisky Falls on the way back along the west banks of take Rotoiti