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Hinapouri Tarn via 3rd Basin, Nelson Lakes National Park

Hinapouri Tarn. Photo: Dennis Radermacher
Nelson Lakes National Park
15.3km to Hinapouri Tarn
Total Ascent
1781m to Hinapouri Tarn
9hr to tarn
Angelus Hut
Mt Robert Road car park, 2km west of St Arnaud
GPX File
Hinapouri Tarn via 3rd basin (gpx, yo 150 KB)
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The route along Robert Ridge to Lake Angelus Hut is one of the busiest tramping highways in the country.

The first two hours up Pinchgut Track are a steady climb on a perfectly maintained path. The track zigzags in and out of beech forest on the north-west facing slopes of Mt Robert and there are great views of St Arnaud.

The distance to 3rd Basin is covered quickly. Be sure to stay on the track until just before Julius Summit. Only the lowest of three tarns is visible from here with just a tiny corner of the middle tarn showing.

Coming down off the ridge, stay clear of a steep gully at the headwaters of Chandler Stream. Facing the tarns, keep to the true left of the stream until it turns into a tiny trickle of water. Head across to the atarns to choose your campsite. Back-track to the ridge and make your way south towards Angelus Hut. Angelus Hut is a well-known gem sitting in a stunning basin below Bristol Pass, but if it’s busy, Hinapouri Tarn offers freedom camping options just half an hour further on.

There are a couple of options for the return trip: it can be a loop, returning via Cascade Track alongside Lake Rotoiti, or via Speargrass Track to the north. These routes are particularly suitable in bad weather when travel on the ridgeline is not recommended.

Robert Ridge offers spectacular alpine terrain with all the amenities of a well marked and maintained track. For those preferring their own company, a short detour off-track will provide all the solitude anyone could ask for.