Back to Nelson! Before I get to our epic hike, take a look at the fabulous sunny bach we had for the weekend. It’s a historic house that’s recently been done up, and it was the perfect city center base.
Yes, that’s a hot tub. This house was slightly pricier than some, but well worth it (and it can sleep 6 or more).
Cheers to an awesome weekend and celebrating the fabulous birthday girl that is Emma B.
On Sunday (Emma’s birthday), we woke up with a plan to head to Nelson Lakes National Park, which none of us had yet been to. We wanted to do a good half-day hike, and our house hosts had recommended Mount Robert. Kate was recovering from a bug, so she stayed behind and had a relaxing day around town. All packed and ready, Karinna, Emma and I set out in Ethel for the two-ish hour drive south.
I drove on the journey down, so there aren’t any road pictures. You’ll just have to trust me that the drive was stunning.
Two major lakes make up the national park – Lake Rotoroa (Long Lake) and Lake Rotoiti (Little Lake). We were headed to Lake Rotoiti, which has the area’s biggest “town” on its shores, St Arnaud. Wow, what a spot!
Time to do a group photo! We found a nice couple who took our photo and we then returned the favor for them. Perfect.
Having stopped by the visitor center, we knew where to head for the start of the Mount Robert track, which can take three to four hours to complete. For reference, it’s the one behind the three of us to the right.
After a bumpy ride down the unpaved road to the trailhead, we parked Ethel and made for Pinchgut Track. Yeah, that name should tell you something. The track began innocently enough, by winding gently uphill through a lush forest. We should’ve known to savor the shade while it lasted!
Soon enough, we emerged onto the grassy slopes of the mountain. It was a toasty day, but the views were already stunning and we were only just getting started. What’s a little heat when this is in front of you?
Luckily, our friend Pinchgut had a lot of switchbacks that made it less steep than it could’ve been. NZ’s oft-travelled trails are always thoughtfully planned and well-maintained.
Surely the most considerate part of the trail cutting was having some of the turns jut just barely into the forest. The cool breeze and shade were a welcome break each time.
The trees frame the view of Lake Rotoiti perfectly.
And then inevitably, it was back out into the strong NZ sun. We had lathered up with sunscreen, but there is one funny story to come in the next blog.
A lone bit of scrub, hanging on for dear life, begged for its photo to be taken.
I can just hear The Lord of the Rings theme song here, as Emma and Karinna round the bend. Two elven ladies, no doubt.
About halfway up, the trail headed back into the magic forest, which was a relief.
We got glimpses of the view, but it was hard to know how close to the top we were. Just when we thought we were close to the tree line, we’d round the bend and it would keep going.
But then, at long last, we emerged to this view.
Of course it was photo time!
Luckily, the three of us are all equally snap-happy, so no one gets stuck having to wait around.
We’ll leave off with this shot of the birthday girl basking in the glory of the view.
Do you like Charlie’s Angels? If so, please stay tuned for some photos of Robert’s Angels at the tippity top of his namesake mountain. 😉