Home / Trips / Nelson-Tasman

Lake Rotoiti Circuit, Nelson Lakes National Park

Lake Rotoiti Hut. Photo: Shellie Evans
Kerr Bay to Lakehead Hut, 3hr; Hut to Mt Robert Road, 3-3.5hr
Lakehaed Hut (28 bunks, $15); Coldwater Hut (12 bunks, $5)
From Kerr Bay, St Arnaud
BS24, BT24
GPX File
Lake Rotoiti Circuit, Nelson Lakes National Park (gpx, yo 43 KB)
Your device does not support GPX files. Please try a different device.

The environs of Lake Rotoiti in Nelson Lakes National Park would easily rival that of any lake setting in New Zealand. When you add an excellent around-the-lake track with a couple of huts to stay at, you have the recipe for a great winter walk.

The trip begins and ends at St Arnaud township and is usually travelled  clockwise along Lakehead Track to Lakehead Hut, a large comfortable abode set in the lower Travers Valley and just 15 minute’s walk from the lake.

Lakehead Track is especially scenic and provides a wonderful sense of discovery, particularly of the stunning beauty and variety of scenery this park offers.

Beyond the hut, the Travers River is crossed to Lakeside Track. This crossing can be done directly, if conditions allow, or via a swingbridge about an hour up the valley.

Lakeside Track first passes Coldwater Hut, a smaller, older hut than Lakehead, but set right on the lake’s edge.

The beautiful Whisky Falls is reached next and then the track climbs and crosses the northern slope of Mt Robert to the road.

This trip could be done as a day outing, though much better to make a weekend of it by staying at one of the huts to enjoy the lakeside scenery.

Support Wilderness

Since 1991, Wilderness has had one simple goal: to help Kiwis ‘See more, do more, live more’ of New Zealand.

If you value our mission, please consider subscribing. As a loyal supporter, you’ll receive these benefits:

  • New Zealand’s best outdoor journalism We’ve won multiple awards for our journalism and magazine production.
  • NZ’s best trips. Browse more than 610 trips with downloadable maps and route notes.
  • Trustworthy gear reviews. Each month we review gear we’ve been bashing and thrashing for months so you can determine if its worth your money.
  • Member benefits. Our WildCard provides discounts at more than 20 partners throughout New Zealand.
  • Your support goes a long way. Your subscription will help us fund NZ’s best outdoor journalists and writers and ensure Wilderness will be there to inspire the next generation of outdoor Kiwis.

A subscription costs as little as $7.00/month for instant access to all articles, trips, gear reviews and gear guides.

View all our subscription options and join the club.

Already a subscriber? Login Now.