Exploring That Other Lake in the Nelson Lakes National Park

Mountains, forest and massive lakes! Here we are in the Nelson Lakes National Park based in the Alpine Lodge just moments away from the famous Lake Rotoiti. We got our token backpacker photo jumping on the Lake Rotoiti Jetty yesterday, but today we are going further afield to explore “that other lake”.

Lake Rotoroa is the largest lake in the national park but a much quieter one. We guess the reason is that the road down to Lake Rotoroa takes about 20 minutes from the State Highway, whereas Lake Rotoiti is just off the highway. Whatever it is, it is fair to say that Lake Rotoroa is a little more off the beaten track.

FOllowing the Buller River

In the campervan setting off from St Anaud, we are cruising along the rapid-filled Buller River. Appropriately, the farms lining the Buller River have a substantial amount of bulls…

A familiar sight

40 minutes later, we arrive at a huge lake. The views are just amazing with snowcapped mountains in the background and forest-clad mountains on each side of the lake. (If that sounds familiar, its because it looks exactly the same as Lake Rotoiti)!

And guess what? This lake has a jetty too! Only this jetty has a picnic table at the end of it. Does that make it better or worse than the Lake Rotoiti Jetty? We’re not sure, but we take some token tourist photos, just to be safe.

Picnic table wars and lunch with a bushman

The picnic table then gets occupied by a small group of American bros backpacking New Zealand. They are jumping off the jetty into the freezing water. Far out!

We opt for another lakeside picnic table in the sun. Next to us is the remains of an old canoe made by a bushman who lived an isolated life out here in the Nelson Lakes. By some sort of weird coincidence, we are then joined by a classic New Zealand bushman, Jeff, and his WWOOFer from Canada, Sonia. We have a chat to these guys while eating our incredible lunch of Robin’s specialty, Budget bread sandwiches.

Although we plan to do a bit of a hike along the lake, Jeff has invited us over for coffee once we have finished. He lives at the entrance to the national park. We’ll definitely take him up on his offer. (Plus, he has a puppy that we are dying to play with)!

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