#8 of 14 national parks in New Zealand

Best trails in Nelson Lakes National Park, New Zealand

253 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in Nelson Lakes National Park, Nelson-Tasman? AllTrails has 16 great hiking trails, views trails, walking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Gearing up for a challenge? There are 8 hard trails in Nelson Lakes National Park ranging from 5 to 59.9 miles and from 2,024 to 5,882 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Description

Nelson Lakes National Park has beech forests, tall mountains, and beautiful streams and lakes. There are many different bird species in the park as well as a variety of plant species. Enjoy the many tracks as you explore the park.

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Map of trails in Nelson Lakes National Park, New Zealand
Park information
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+64 3 521 1806
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Top trails (16)
#1 - Mount Robert Loop - Pinchgut and Paddys Tracks
Nelson Lakes National Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(98)
Length: 5.0 mi • Est. 3 h 25 m
While it is a consistently uphill slope, the trail is solid and winds it's way in and out of forested areas with excellent views of Lake Routiti. The last section is very steep. You can rest at the shelter at the top before heading down again. The track down has some deep ruts and is mostly in the open without shade. The trail ends at the lower car park, not the upper car park, so you may have another 10 minutes of walking on the gravel road if you parked at the upper car park. https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/nelson-tasman/places/nelson-lakes-national-park/things-to-do/tracks/mount-robert-circuit/Show more
#2 - Lake Rotoiti Circuit
Nelson Lakes National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(10)
Length: 18.0 mi • Est. 8 h 13 m
The Lake Rotoiti Circuit links the Lakehead Track on the eastern shores with the Lakeside Track on the western shores and the Brunner Peninsula Nature Walk, around Lake Rotoiti. There are multiple places to step off the track, which is mainly forested, onto the river's edge for a picturesque lunchstop. The scenery is just stunning. It is possible to complete the circuit in a day if you start early. The track is mainly dirt with leaf debris and the occasional rock. There is only one steep area, heading clockwise up to Mt Robert Road, otherwise it is an essentially flat circuit. At the base of the lake, where the Traver's River runs down into it, there is Lakehead Hut. By carefully completing a river crossing, or by heading further up the river to a swing bridge and then heading back to the lake (an extra 3hrs), you'll get to Coldwater Hut. Whisky Falls is well worth the 500m extra side trip. There are small ferries that cross the lake connecting Kerr Bay with Lakehead jetty, Coldwater jetty & Whisky Falls jetty.Show more
#3 - Travers-Sabine Circuit
Nelson Lakes National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(17)
Length: 46.2 mi • Est. Multi-day
The Travers-Sabine Circuit in Nelson Lakes Regional Park is a four to eight day trip with huts along the way to stay in. The terrain is sometimes easy and straight, sometimes demanding with lots of roots, numerous smaller climbs and descends, and sometimes hard when you have to fight your way through windfall or non-existing parts of the track that the river has claimed. Travers Saddle is an alpine region, so you might encounter rain, fog, and snow even in Summer. When in doubt, it is better to stay in the hut. https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/nelson-tasman/places/nelson-lakes-national-park/things-to-do/tracks/travers-sabine-circuit/Show more
#4 - Parachute Rocks via Saint Arnaud Range Track
Nelson Lakes National Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(47)
Length: 6.5 mi • Est. 5 h
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! The views of the Saint Arnaud Ranges on the other side of the range and the mountain lakes are outstanding. https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/nelson-tasman/places/nelson-lakes-national-park/things-to-do/tracks/st-arnaud-range-track/Show more
#5 - Robert's Ridge Route to Lake Angeuls
Nelson Lakes National Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(23)
Length: 13.8 mi • Est. 8 h 25 m
#6 - Angelus Circuit
Nelson Lakes National Park
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Length: 24.3 mi • Est. Multi-day
Wonderful forest, sparkling cascades, a magnificent glacial lake in a snowy setting - this circuit has it all.Show more
#7 - Robert Ridge Trail to Speargrass Trail Loop
Nelson Lakes National Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(14)
Length: 18.8 mi • Est. 11 h
This loop climbs Roberts Ridge out to Lake Angelus and returns via Speargrass Track. On the first section along Roberts Ridge, the trail is mostly flat along alpine meadow with occasional scrambles over boulders, be sure to carry enough water for the day as there is no where to refill until you reach camp at Lake Angelus. Returning via Speargrass Track is through dense forest terrain which might have some overgrown sections and can be very muddy, especially near river crossings. Show more
#8 - Whiskey Falls via Lakeside Track
Nelson Lakes National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(18)
Length: 7.5 mi • Est. 3 h 52 m
Running along the westside of Lake Rotoiti, this track goes through mānuka, kānuka, beech forests. You will make your way to Whiskey Falls and then to Coldwater Hut.Show more
#9 - Nelson Lakes - Robert Ridge - Travers Sabine Circuit - Blue lakes - WAIAU Pass
Nelson Lakes National Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(1)
Length: 59.9 mi • Est. Multi-day
This is a version of the Travers-Sabine Circuit, which is a multi-day hike (4-7 days) in Nelson Lakes National Park. This variation features a side trip to Blue Lake and Lake Constance. Travers Saddle features stunning views of surrounding mountains and Blue Lake has stunning colors and some of the freshest water in the world. Show more
#10 - Brunner Penninsula Nature Walk
Nelson Lakes National Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(6)
Length: 4.5 mi • Est. 2 h 8 m
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