Nelson Lakes National Park – What to do?

Nelson Lakes National ParkWhat to do in the Top of the South? If you drive south from Nelson, about 70km, you will arrive in St. Arnaud located on the northern most side of Lake Rotoiti.

Nelson Lakes National Park † is a stunningly scenic place with the lakes, beech forest, and mountains, packaged into what has been termed ‘New Zealand’s most user friendly National Park’.

Amongst conservation organisations the world over, a relatively small area near Lake Rotoiti, has become famous in the last few years. The Rotoiti Nature Recovery
Project is an ambitious and very successful “Mainland Island”. A “Mainland Island” is a
term for an area under intensive pest control. The aim is to return an area of honey dew native beech forest, back to it’s original pre-human, pest free state. photoWith its two Lakes, Lake Rotoiti and Lake Rotoroa, along with the “alpine” like township St. Arnaud, the Nelson Lakes National Park are the base for many seasonal activities and events.

Snow capped peaks in winter provide for the South Islands most northerly skifield.

In summer the hills are busy with the arrival of walkers, hikers / trampers, etc.

Also during the Summer Months the annual Classic & Wooden Boat show is held.

Nelson Lakes Gliding ClubJust completed last weekend we had the 2008 St. Arnaud to Westport “Source to Sea” cycle race over a distance of 100 miles. It’s also an annual event attracting a wide range of riders.

Fishing to get that trophy brown trout is also a very popular activity in the region, with many overseas visitors making the trip to NZ just to do trout fishing.

The fantastic scenery though is best viewed from up above it, and yes there is a way to do that too. The Nelson Lakes Gliding club is based at Lake Station which is about 9 kilometers west of St Arnaud and they can even teach you to fly ( conditions apply ).

SOURCE – NZ DOC (Department of Conservation)