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Nelson Lakes has a number of half-, full-, and multiday trails that can be "freedom walked" (walked without a guide). The Lake Rotoiti Circuit gets you around the lake in an easy daylong walk. The rather steep Mt. Robert Track zigzags up the face of Mt. Robert, giving you a superb view back across the lake toward St. Arnaud village. The return walk can be done by looping down the face of the mountain to meet up with the Lake Rotoiti Circuit track. Other tracks lead off these into the higher mountain areas. Hut accommodations are available on a "first-in, first-served" basis. This is a rugged, wild area so alpine experience and equipment are necessary on the longer tracks.
Nelson Wilderness Guides. Nelson Wilderness Guides can take the work out of finding tracks, gear, and accommodation. They have one-, three-, and four-day tours through the park, based at their Golden Downs Lodge, and lead multi-day wilderness expeditions into the backcountry of Nelson Lakes and Kahurangi. The B&B lodge accommodation starts at NZ$95 a night for two. Kohatu, Golden Downs, Nelson, 7095. 03/5224175. www.goldendowns.co.nz..
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