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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
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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.