Lake Rotoroa in Nelson Lakes – Day 98

Nature Walk at Lake Rotoroa

Today we are exploring Lake Rotoroa in Nelson Lakes National Park as part of our 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand!

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Video Transcript:

Today we are going to check out that other lake in the Nelson Lakes National Park. Today we are visiting Nelson Lakes biggest lake. Nailed it.

This morning is another amazing drive for us. We love more and more every single day driving around the South Island. We are stunned by the beautifulness of the landscape and we are making our way to Lake Rotoroa which is located in the Nelson Lakes National Park.

As soon as we arrive we are mind blown by the views and we take the time to grab a bit of lunch and chat with a couple of locals that are here walking their dog. They are super friendly and send us our way. They tell us that there is a really cool hike to do nearby but first we want to check out the jetty. Lake Rotoroa is the largest lake in the Nelson Lakes National Park and it is incredibly beautiful.

The surrounding mountains are covered in forest and even snowy peaks out into the distance and the water itself is placid and very transparent. The view from the pier alone is totally worth the drive.

But we have to get on our way. The locals that we met when we were grabbing lunch told us that there was a really cool little hike nearby and that’s totally worth doing. It’s not too long but there is a lot to see there. So we want to make sure we have enough sunlight today to make the most of it. Lake Rotoroa is the start of many hikes here in the Nelson Lakes National Park there are a lot of multi-day hikes to start here but we opt for a shorter option simple called the Nature Walk. This takes us through a really tall forest of beech and podocarp and it’s totally different form any other forest that we’ve been in so far. The floor is covered by a multitude of different ferns. It’s really cool to watch. There are ferns of all different sizes and shapes there are some small ones some big ones some round ones some tall ones. it’s really impressive that in such a small area, you can see such a wealth and diversity of plants. But there is not only plants there are also heaps of wildlife. We spot a lot of different birds we hear even more of them but mainly we spot the kereru which is the native wood pigeon. It’s a massive very clumsy bird which is white and green it’s really cool to spot one so up-close.

The really cool thing about this forest is that it’s so spread out that it lets the sunlight cast these dramatic shadows through the forest. We then notice a side track towards this secluded beach on the side of the lake.

We can see mountains, we can see snow, we can see forest, we can see lake. The water is pretty icy to be honest maybe we won’t swim at the moment but it’s nice to look at.

So with that it looks like it is not today that you’re going to see us skinny dip in the Nelson Lakes.

We are making our way back toward the forest and engulf ourselves again in this tall beech tree area. This Nature Walk is only a 25 minute loop walk but man we are seeing a lot. I also really love the fact that there is moss covered trees everywhere we look. On top of the ferns that already amaze me, we see trees completely overrun by moss. And that gives them a complete different look. And this kind of really eerie Lord of the Ringish feel. Laura and I are in awe in front of this walk.

We had no idea that this walk existed here in fact we only knew about the really lengthy walks like 8 hours or even the multi-day walk and we feel really lucky that we actually took the time to chat with the locals with our lunch because if not there would have been no way that we knew this walk exist here. We really advise you guys to spend time and chat with the locals. They know everything. But one of the things that we have to do today is to try to locate the hospital. We are a little bit in the middle of no where but I seem to have been bitten by either a spider or massive amount of sandflies and one of my fingers is not looking so good.

Luckily New Zealand is an awesome country and there are hospitals everywhere. That’s how much I can bend it right now.

We are making our way toward Murchison Medical Centre so that Robin can have his inflamed finger checked out. They take really good care of us at the Murchison Health Centre and the great thing about New Zealand is that they have a universal health care system free for all. So hopefully Robin’s finger will be healed in the next few days and until then we drive back towards St Arnaud where we are staying the night.

I’ve changed our plans a little bit for tomorrow. We’re not going to do something as epic as it was supposed to be but we’re actually going to do something pretty unique we’re going to go to the Maruia Springs which are one of the only hot springs on the West Coast and it’s a beautiful very remote location and it’s going to be something a bit relaxing for our Day 99 trying to heal that finger and you know, trying to take a bit of a rest because honestly those last 98 days have been pretty hectic.

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