Nelson Lakes National Park
Photo credit
Nicholas Rean
Lake Rotoiti
,
New Zealand

Tour Nelson Lakes National Park

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New Zealand

Inspiring you to tour Nelson Lakes National Park and immerse yourself in its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and share your authentic travel experiences

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Nelson Lakes National Park is located in the northern part of New Zealand's South Island. It encompasses the northernmost ranges of the Southern Alps and features two stunning glacial lakes, Lake Rotoiti and Lake Rotoroa. The park spans over 1,019 square kilometres and includes rugged mountains, beech forests, and alpine herb fields. Notable landmarks within the park include Mount Robert and the Travers Range.

The climate in Nelson Lakes National Park is characterized by cold winters and mild summers. Altitudes in the park range from 600 meters at the lake shores to over 2,000 meters in the mountains. This variation in altitude leads to diverse vegetation zones, from lush forests at lower elevations to alpine plants in higher areas. Seasonal variations are significant, with heavy snowfall in winter and mild, clear days in summer, making it a year-round destination with different activities for each season.

The park is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna. Beech forests dominate the lower regions, while alpine herbs and grasses thrive at higher altitudes. Notable plant species include the mountain daisy and various tussocks. The fauna includes native birds like the kea, kaka, and the endangered great spotted kiwi. Birdwatching is a popular activity, especially around the lakes and forests where many species can be spotted.

Visitors to Nelson Lakes National Park can engage in a wide range of outdoor activities. Popular pursuits include hiking, with well-known trails like the Angelus Circuit and the Travers-Sabine Circuit offering stunning views and challenging terrain. The lakes provide opportunities for boating, fishing, and swimming. In winter, the park attracts cross-country skiers and snowshoers. Facilities such as campsites, huts, and guided tours enhance the visitor experience.

The area holds cultural significance for the Māori people, with numerous legends and traditional stories associated with the lakes and mountains. The lakes, in particular, are considered taonga (treasures) and are integral to local Māori heritage. Cultural events and festivals celebrating Māori traditions are occasionally held in and around the park.

Nelson Lakes National Park is managed by the Department of Conservation, which implements various measures to protect its natural resources. Challenges such as pest control, invasive species, and climate change impact the park's ecosystem. Sustainable tourism practices are promoted to minimize human impact and preserve the park's pristine condition for future generations.

Visitors to Nelson Lakes National Park can expect a tranquil and awe-inspiring atmosphere. Highlights include breath-taking viewpoints, serene lakeside settings, and the majestic backdrop of the Southern Alps. For the best experience, visitors are encouraged to prepare for variable weather and bring appropriate gear for hiking or other activities.

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Geeky Facts about Nelson Lakes National Park

Fact 1

Home to the endangered great spotted kiwi.

Fact 2

Features the famous Angelus Circuit hiking trail.

Fact 3

Established in 1956, covering over 1,019 square kilometers.

Tours in Nelson Lakes National Park

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Wellington & South Island - 14 days

Wellington & South Island - 14 days

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New Zealand
Tour type
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Small Group
Activity level
Activity Level
2 - Light

14 days from

£4,375 / person

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Enchanting New Zealand - 16 days

Enchanting New Zealand - 16 days

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New Zealand
Tour type
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Small Group
Activity level
Activity Level
2 - Light

16 days from

£4,895 / person

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New Zealand Expedition - 23 days

New Zealand Expedition - 23 days

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New Zealand
Tour type
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Small Group
Activity level
Activity Level
2 - Light

23 days from

£6,635 / person

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New Zealand Wonders - 19 days

New Zealand Wonders - 19 days

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New Zealand
Tour type
Tour Type
Small Group
Activity level
Activity Level
2 - Light

19 days from

£5,985 / person

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Auckland to Christchurch - 16 days

Auckland to Christchurch - 16 days

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New Zealand
Tour type
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Small Group
Activity level
Activity Level
2 - Light

16 days from

£4,895 / person

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Auckland, Wellington & Scenic South - 12 days

Auckland, Wellington & Scenic South - 12 days

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New Zealand
Tour type
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Small Group
Activity level
Activity Level
2 - Light

12 days from

£4,245 / person

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Remarkable New Zealand - 20 days

Remarkable New Zealand - 20 days

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New Zealand
Tour type
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Small Group
Activity level
Activity Level
2 - Light

20 days from

£6,115 / person

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Ultimate South Island Adventure

Ultimate South Island Adventure

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New Zealand
Tour type
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Walking, Hiking & Trekking
Activity level
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4 - Demanding

14 days from

£6,554 / person

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