Where were we? Ah yes, almost at the top of 1,421-meter Mount Robert in the Nelson Lakes. For you non-metric folk, that’s 4,662 feet to be exact. I’ve gotta give our car Ethel some credit though, as she had to do her fair share of uphill work to even get to the carpark.
Above the tree-line, the forests and peaks of the northern South Island stretched out endlessly into the distance below us. We were after a good spot to eat our lunch, so we continued along the windy ridge in hopes of a more sheltered location.
Mountain flowers dusted the summit, contrasting with the barren ridges in the distance.
It took me a while to make it here, but Nelson Lakes National Park was well worth the wait.
We knew there’d be a place to fill our water bottles at the top, thanks to the helpful woman at the visitor center. It was perfect, so we didn’t have to carry twice the water or try to conserve on such a hot day.
A cute little alpine shelter soon appeared in the distance.
Not very big to begin with, the shelter was dwarfed by the surrounding landscape.
Instead of a full hut fitted for sleeping, it’s just a spot for hikers to escape the elements, which I can imagine get pretty vicious here in cooler months. The fresh water pump was around the side, so we all topped off our water bottles before continuing on to find a lunch spot.
We came across a rock cairn, which struck me as the perfect tripod for my camera, since I had decided not to lug my real tripod on the trek. Time to pose, ladies!
Now, enter Robert’s Angels…
The last one is my favorite! It was especially funny when hikers walked by while we were in the middle of our photoshoot, trying to coordinate our angel moves. Good times.
The trail continued along the back side of the ridge, and the wind died down a bit as our stomachs began to rumble.
Finally, we found a nice inviting picnic rock. Can’t think of many lunch views that could rival this!
I feel like the Von Trapps could emerge at any point and burst into song.
After a great lunch, we continued on, thankfully downhill. We came across Kea Hut, which was closed but still great for photos.
At the perfect time, we saw a sign saying Bushline Hut was just a short distance away and had TOILETS. Always a godsend in the mountains.
A true loo with a view!
We won’t talk about what they were like inside.
I’d love to come back and stay at Bushline Hut one time. DOC runs incredible huts all around NZ, which makes backpacking so much easier – no tent needed!
Plus, imagine waking up to this view. No fancy expensive hotel in the world can rival the vistas Mother Nature provides, in my opinion.
As the trail became steeper and rockier on the way downhill, we had to stop every now and then to look up from our feet and take in this view of Lake Rotoiti. You can see the track winding down below us.
The color of the lake was stunning and seemed to change from every angle – light turquoise blue in the distance and dark blue closer up.
This last shot might just be my favorite, well except for Robert’s Angels.
Soon after, the track took us back into the forest for a while before reaching our loyal steed, Ethel. It was at this point that we started to go a little crazy from all the hiking and began singing Disney songs. Luckily, none of this is on video. “JUST AROUND THE RIVER BEND!”
Once we emerged from the forest, Karinna popped into Ethel’s driver seat and we made our way back toward Nelson. Not feeling up for a night on the town, we stopped in to grab fish and chips, which we enjoyed with some beers out on the back lawn behind our bach. A nice relaxing dip in the hot tub polished off a truly amazing weekend with some fab ladies.
My favorite souvenir from the trip? This sweet sunburn I got on the hike up Mount Robert when I didn’t realize how low my socks were. Oops!
Thanks for coming along, and I’ll be back with new adventures soon!