Nelson Lakes National Park is our destination on a bright Wednesday. We drive approximately 45 kilometers along Highway 6 then turn left on Wai-Iti Valley Road. The winding drive takes us through the Kalinui Forest then Golden Downs Forest. No one is following us for the first 20 minutes, then just as William comments that the road would be great for bikers a group of three motorcyclists appear in the rear view mirror as if from no where. They buzz by us on a somewhat "straight" stretch of road.
The road follows a valley floor, with forests and some ranches along the way. One rancher has diversified - he is raising cows, sheep, deer and elk. Other ranchers are selling some of their by-product - we see signs selling "sheep shit". It reminds us of the "pony poo" signs we saw on the ride from Rotorua to Hawke's Bay. (We are still hoping to see signs for "horse hockey" and "cow crap" in some of our future drives in New Zealand). Along the way Mount Tapuae-o-Uenuku, elevation 2,885 meters (9,465 feet), looms off in the distance.
We stop for coffee in St. Arnaud, the last city before the park. The Alpine Lodge Cafe is lovely, with beach chairs as well as tables to enjoy the scenery.
At the park visitor's center we pick up a map of the area and choose to take the Peninsula Nature Walk. We walk down to Lake Rotoiti and are greeted by a gorgeous alpine scene. There are black swans and ducks swimming near the beach. Our 90 minute bush walk takes us along the lake where we are treated to expansive views and through the brush with it's interesting mushrooms and moss.
This evening as we are sitting on the front porch a gorgeous sunset develops. The perfect ending to a day enjoying pristine nature.
Hi. I'm Anne. I wander around the world with William.
Enjoy Some of our Favorite Links below