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Lake Peel Loop, Kahurangi National Park

Descending through alpine grasslands to the picturesque Lake Peel. Photo: David Norton

The Mt Arthur Tablelands area of Kahurangi National Park is deservedly busy over summer.

While Mt Arthur Hut and Salisbury Lodge are popular destinations for families, if you want to explore further afield and avoid the crowds, consider heading to Lake Peel.

Most families with young children will want to take two days to get there but between the novel rock shelters, Balloon Hut and endless campsite opportunities you won,t have any trouble finding somewhere to stay along the way.

The lake sits in a cirque on the Peel Range above the Cobb Reservoir and excellent swimming awaits brave kids. It’s possible to camp here, too.

Return via the Bullock Track and Upper Takaka Track, once again camping along the way if short legs require short days.

Highlights include the rock shelters, spectacular views of the Arthur Range and the Cobb Reservoir, good birdlife and alpine flowers in summer.

The route is well tracked and poled and is an excellent introduction to multi-day tramping.