Nelson Lakes National Park New Zealand :: Abel Tasman National Park New Zealand

After leaving the West coast, Our New Zealand adventure continued with a hike up Mt. Robert in Nelson Lakes National Park. We did the Mt. Roberts Circuit which was up Paddy’s track (6.4 km) and down Pinchgut Track (3.4 km). It took us about 2 1/2 hrs (the guidebook said four so I guess we are speedy!) and it was probably the most spectacular hike I’ve ever done. Going up Paddy’s track you are switchbacking up the mountain and have beautiful views down to Lake Rotoiti almost the whole time. So even when I was sucking wind and needed to take a break I had a pretty view to look at and enjoy / pretend I was taking photos of 🙂

Mt Robert Nelson Lakes National Park New Zealand

It was a long way up but MAN it was worth it!

Man walks up Mt Robert Nelson Lakes National Park New Zealand

The sign at the top just to make it official 🙂

Trail sign Mt Robert Nelson Lakes National Park New Zealand

Jeff insisted on taking the camera to show that I was there too 🙂

Woman stands on summit of Mt Robert Nelson Lakes National Park New Zealand


Summit of Mt Robert Nelson Lakes National Park New Zealand

On the way down we passed through this forest where the trees were all covered in moss. Apparently it is a very fragile environment and frequent rock slides mean that it’s hard for trees to take root on the side of the mountain- this grove was so serene and peaceful.

The lake that we had been seeing along the hike is Lake Rotoiti – I think I could sit on this dock all day every day and not get tired of the view. This picture makes me go ahhhhhh 🙂

Dock at Lake Rotoiti Nelson Lakes National Park New Zealand

That night we drove to Motueka and looked for a motel to stay at. After passing vacancy sign after vacancy sign we finally saw that there was room at Happy Apple Backpackers. Other than the very sweet owners we were the oldest people in there by about a decade. All the “kids” were hanging out, playing ping pong and hacky sack and trading travel stories – definitely a different kind of trip than what we were on but a very fun adventure.

Jeff took the top bunk and I slept on the bottom – it will be a memory 🙂

That night we dined at the Gothic which is a church turned into a restaurant – very unique and very yummy!

Happy Apple Backpackers New Zealand

The next day we drove to Kaiteriteri and had breakfast at a cafe along the beach. We then boarded a catamaran for a full day cruise around Abel Tasman National Park. Jeff of course had to try the water while I was content to snap some photos of him swimming ahead of the boat 🙂

Man swims in front of sailboat Abel Tasman sea New Zealand

We had a packed lunch at Anchorage Bay Beach and then sailed back to the harbor – it was a great trip….very scenic and nice to get some sun (we wore a lot of sunscreen to make sure we didn’t get burned!)


After disembarking we drove to Blenheim and checked into the Marlborough Vintner’s Hotel – a real treat and quite an upgrade from our previous night’s accommodation! The best part? They had a laundry so we got to clean our clothes!!!!

Stay tuned next week for our wine country adventures….our trip is coming to a close 🙁