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Lakehead Track

Intermediate
 4.0 (2)

A comfortable trail that rolls along the edge of Lake Rotoiti.


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Map Key

8.8

Miles

14.2

KM

99%

Runnable

2,190' 667 m

High

2,012' 613 m

Low

413' 126 m

Up

260' 79 m

Down

1%

Avg Grade (1°)

8%

Max Grade (5°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife

Permit required - New Zealand has a unique system of simple (mostly) backcountry huts that typically have wood/coal heating stoves, plastic-covered mattresses, clean water, and bunkhouse communal living. Space can be limited and permits are required. Check in the DOC offices of major towns for permits. Good information can be also be found here.

Runner Notes

A good flat trail.

Description

This is one of the flatter, more comfortable longer trails you'll find in New Zealand. The first five miles of the trail roll along Lake Rotoiti through thick Southern Beech forest. Occasionally, there are stream crossings and the remnants of some older landslides ('slips' in Kiwi talk).

After a larger slip, you come to the end of the lake and enter the grassy, u-shaped river basin of the Travers River. You soon come upon the Lakehead Hut. Grab a bunk, continue on the rest of the trail, or cut over to the Coldwater Hut on the the Lakehead Hut to Coldwater Hut Connector. From here, there are a few creek crossings along the way which in the wet season may cause you to remove your boots or just get wet.

Run through the basin for the next mile as you creep closer the the river. Soon you are back on the hillside in a Southern Beech forest until you finally arrive at a long suspension bridge that crosses the Travers River. Take care as you step down the treacherous face that leads to the bridge.

Flora & Fauna

Lots of cool birds. Bellbirds, fantails, kaka, and Kea parrots, wekas, rock wren and paradise and blue ducks. The area is dominated by the black beech trees which produces a sweet liquid that in turn produces a black mold on all the trees. This can cause a smell like sour, rotting apples.

Contacts

Shared By:

Russell Hobart

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 2 votes

#3

in Lake Rotoiti

#11131

Overall
  4.0 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#3

in Lake Rotoiti

#131

in New Zealand

#11,131

Overall
5 Views Last Month
277 Since Apr 10, 2017
Intermediate

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Photos

Lake Rotoiti in Nelson Lakes National Park is like nothing else.
Apr 26, 2017 near Wakefield, NZ
Lake Rotoiti is unlike anything you've ever seen.
Apr 10, 2017 near Wakefield, NZ
Lake Rotoiti, Nelson Lakes National Park
Nov 16, 2018 near St Arnaud, NZ
Navigate this narrow bridge crossing on the Lakehead Track.
Apr 10, 2017 near Wakefield, NZ
Along the Travers River.
Apr 10, 2017 near Wakefield, NZ

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