Exploring Nature

Here are many different way to explore nature here at Lake Rotoiti and the Nelson Lakes National Park area.

Walks and Hikes

If you want to appreciate our spectacular scenery and plentiful bird life on foot, take a leisurely stroll along the many well-formed, marked tracks beside and around the shore of Lake Rotoiti.  Tranquil bush walks include the Honeydew Walk, which begins at the lake edge and meanders through sun-filtered beech forest. This walk takes approximately 30-45 minutes and suits most levels of fitness. The Loop Track is a longer picturesque walk (1-1.5 hours) which starts from the Honeydew Walk and circles up into the beech forest and back onto the main lake track.

If you’d like to try a couple of longer  tramps/hikes, take the St Arnaud Range track up to Parachute Rocks; enjoy spectacular views along the Mt Robert Circuit; or follow the Lakeside Track along the western bank of Lake Rotoiti to Whisky Falls (allow a full day for each). For the ultimate challenge, trek the Travers-Sabine Circuit with a detour to see the world’s clearest fresh water at Blue Lake (4-9 days depending on side trips),  or explore the rugged wilderness of the park along its many other tracks and routes.


Mountain biking and cycling

There are many mountain bike tracks in the Teetotal Recreational Area. Beebys Knob, approximately 8km from St Arnaud at the eastern end of Tophouse Rd, is another popular bike trail. the MTB Trails trust members are busy upgrading and forming new trail around st Arnaud Two mountain bikes are available for your use at St Arnaud House. with the big bush and Beebys knob tracks nearly ready for this season, further afield tracks like the old ghost road, approx one and a half hours away.Numerous cycle races start at St Arnaud, most notably the “Source to the Sea” and the “Rainbow Rage”.



Bird watching

Native bird life flourishes around Lake Rotoiti and the village of St Arnaud, thanks to the Rotoiti Nature Recovery Project “The Mainland Island” and the dedicated "Friends of Rotoiti" volunteers. This pest eradication strategy was launched by the Department of Conservation (DOC) in February 1997 and covers more than 5,000 ha. Kiwi and other native birds have been re-introduced to the area.You can see and hear our native birds and their song at it's best (including tui, weka, bellbirds, robins, morepork, and many others) throughout the forest and around St Arnaud.