Explore the most popular Parks in Nelson-Tasman with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

We completed a day trip starting at Bark Bay and ending at Awaroa - we used a water taxi to get to and from these beaches back to our base at Kaiteriteri. Took us a little under four hours to complete. The views on this section of the track were wonderful - a lot of time was spent either walking on beaches or catching glimpses of them through the bush. I would personally rate this section of the walk moderate difficulty at best. There were occasional steep moments after leaving Bark Bay heading north, but these were very short lived. Most of the time, the track was flat with very gentle inclines or declines.

I'd imagine this section would be suitable for families and people with moderate to low-moderate fitness levels - even with a backpacking pack, this part of the walk would be very doable. There's a cafe at the end (Awaroa) during the summer for those who would be in the hike for a reward beer or bite to eat. Compared to the other bays we visited (Bark Bay and Onetahuti), Awaroa was the most crowded due to the presence of the lodge and cafe - something to keep in mind for people who prefer to avoid crowds as much as possible.

Difficult trail with quite a few switchbacks - the roots of trees you have to navigate your way around on the trails can be especially slick after rain.

All that to say, the climb is unbelievably worth it! Second the prior recommendations for pushing past Parachute Rocks to the top - the views of the Saint Arnaud Ranges on the other side of the range and the mountain lakes are outstanding and well worth the extra 15-20 minutes of (albeit steep) climbing. Couldn't recommend this hike enough!

hiking
4 days ago

Getting to Medlands Beach (just south of Bark Bay) requires you to setup a boat tour with one of the companies operating in and around the park, or the towns around Nelson.

The track between Medlands Beach and Torrent Bay is pretty busy, but after that it clears up (between Torrent and Anchorage). The entire trail is pretty flat with a few ups and downs, and is very well maintained. That coupled with the beautiful coastal scenery makes this a great walk.

Check the tide schedule before going - if the tide is out you can walk through an estuary to get from Torrent Bay to Anchorage. The high tide (which this route takes) is awesome to - make sure to bring a towel and bathing suit/stuff to swim in for Cleopatra’s Pool

amazing trail !
Enjoy and don't forget to take some beers at the top ;)

Splendid trail with gorgeous but !! But you need to be sure footed, and to have good weather. I arrived from mount Cedric trail and went down on that trail with crazy winds all along the ridge. I sometimes had to lie down not to fall.
The path is really well indicated.

hiking
muddy
13 days ago

Really nice hike through forest, moutains and lakes. I stayed in Lakehead hut, upper travers Hut, Blue lake Hut and Sabine Hut (amazing sunset on the lake). it's an easy path if you do the classic trail as there is not so much elevation appart from the saddle.
A side trip to blue lake is really nice to add and to Angelus hut as well ( you have to book the hut in advance if you want to stay up there overnight). I took the mount Cedric trail and then the Robert Ridge : it has absolutely incredible views but be prepared to have a really steep trail to glum (1400m up for only 7km). And you want good weather. I had such strong winds on the Robert Ridge that I literally had to lie down a few times.
Also I would recommend staying in coldwater instead of lakehead as the hut has a nicer view :) bad you can see eels in the water

great hike ,pinchgut is the best way up

by far my favourite hike in nz. diverse views and terrain and not as busy as the nz great walks.

walked from midlands beach to awaroa lodge..3.5 hours walking..about 9.1 km..was great view and wonderful day , overcast and no sandfly..Lodge is great .had bags come up on water taxi..waiting in the room..looking forward to dinner and drinks in the restaurant..

hiking
1 month ago

We only did the Southernmost 2.5 miles of this trail. The trail follows the river and is fairly easy on this section but that's mostly because the water was so low we had no crossings to worry about. My guess is that with rain it would be a very different experience. There is an interesting old gold mining shaft near the start.

recommend going to the highest peak on the ridge...only an extra 15mins and you can see the whole lake!!
absolutely incredible .... have to do it with good weather..

hiking
1 month ago

Did the track clockwise, the first part (lakehead track) is easy walking along the lake, ends in a nice and long swingbridge. The next part (cascade track) moderately gains altitude at the beginning, then after 20 kilometers of walking comes the hiking part. Really nice streams fall down on the craggy area, but you need to be careful when it’s windy up there, considering that your legs are not that fresh after 20km. Once you have gained 600-700m altitude, you reach Angelus hut which sits next to a beautiful lake. The surrounding is awesome, it is hard to stop staring it through the windows. If the weather is nice, take the robert’s ridge track on the second day, the view is beautiful all along the way. Some parts are rocky and steepy, they reqiure stable legs and some hiking experience.

Pretty steep on rocks towards the top! Windy up there too. Great views

hiking
no shade
scramble
1 month ago

Not too difficult, a lot if exposure. Great views along the way and at the peak. Scramble to summer summit.

hiking
no shade
scramble
1 month ago

Not too difficult, a lot if exposure. Great views along the way and at the peak. Scramble to summer summit.

hiking
1 month ago

very easy and nice track! One of my favourite walks in New Zealand. There are so many different kinds of landscape and stunning views. If I could I would do it again in the winter season.
it's definitely worth to take your time on the trip there are so many side trips and things to see. at the Gouland Downs you can even see whios (blueducks).

Absolutely amazing hike!
Steep uphill at the start with views of the lake then a steady hike across the top of the ridge. Lots of really fun rock hopping made it really exciting and a bit tough at times :D
Definitely give yourself the whole day if you plan on on doing this in one day!

Great walk, nice hut!

Hut and campsite was booked, Butter we gave it a go. Hut keeper said, that it is possible to tent at the official campground, but we have to pay the double (20 NZD pp.), There is also a freedom campground 5 min behind the hut. We chose this and were allowed to use toiletts and water form the hut.

Lakewater is also drinkable and you should jump inside, it's really great!

Really great track. We hiked from Marahau to Wharawhangi then back to Tortoranui to catch a water taxi back. The hike was mostly flat but there were still many locations where the forest opened up giving way to a great view of the coast. It was also very nice to camp right on all the amazing beaches and go for a swim each day! Great hike would highly recommend!

The trail was not well marked. We were on our way to observation Bay but the signs were unclear as to where it was. We walked down to Anchorage then walked back up to the trail and started to ask people if they had seen the turn off. They said they did, so that kept us going.
Other than that, it’s an easy trail.

Incredibily diverse if you use the high tide trail. Sand, jungle-like forest, shore, stone - everything's included.
Recommend thick, non slippery footwear.

Very easier path to access to the waterfall. If you like waterfall it is a good one, but not the best one. It’s possible to swim at the bottom inside the pool, the water is so clear.

hiking
2 months ago

The Pukatea Bay Campground to Pitt Head Lookout

2 months ago

Amazing. Wanted to turn around at the end and do it again

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hiking. One of the best in NZ.

Great walk. Don't bother with the loop, just do the water race part.

Don't bother with the loop. Just do there and back on the water race part.

This really shouldn’t be one of the Great Walks. It’s not so much of a hike as it is a stroll. It’s almost entirely flat, and the uphill sections are short and not steep. There is literally not a single part of this trail that’s demanding. I hiked days 1-3 (Aowara - Marahau) in under 6 hours. Also, it’s pretty busy and only rewards you very occasionally with views as most of the time the canopy hides everything.

There are much better hikes to do around here, whether you’re in it for the challenge or the views.

Easy trail and the largest freshwater spring is pretty neat! You can see right to the bottom. Saw ducks too! We did the “short loop”, although I never saw where there was a longer one.

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