Marvel at the pristine Nelson Lakes National Park as you kayak across this magnificent lake to thermal pools and glow worm caves.
Take in views of forest-fringed waters, shimmering glow worm caves and the Southern Alps at Lake Rotoiti in the Nelson Lakes National Park. Surrounded by towering mountains, all the lakes in this park were carved out by glaciers over thousands of years and have remained largely untouched. As well as making for a spectacular landscape, this has also allowed native wildlife to thrive.
Head to the Mainland Island area to the east of Lake Rotoiti, where you can hike the gentle trails. Pass through sweet-smelling, indigenous beech forest and enjoy great views across the water.
Be sure to grab a paddle and take to the water during your time at Lake Rotoiti. Kayaking tours run throughout the year and provide a superb opportunity to enjoy great views of the peaks that surround the lake. Your guide will lead you to a network of glow worm caves that can only be reached by water. Glide through the caves on your kayak and look up at the roofs shimmering with the light of these fascinating insects. The dark passages of these caves are among the only places in New Zealand where you can see glow worms during the day.
A short paddle from the caves will take you to a pool heated by thermal springs. As with the caves, the pool cannot be accessed on foot and your group may have the place to yourselves. Come at night to relax in the pool with a brilliant star-studded sky above you.
For those who would rather stay on the water’s edge, Lake Rotoiti is also known for its excellent fishing. Try fly fishing or drop a line to catch brown trout.
Lake Rotoiti is located approximately a 4-hour drive north from Christchurch. Stay in the pretty community of Saint Arnaud at the northern end of the lake, from where all lake excursions begin. Several guesthouses and hostels provide accommodation and there are campsites open during the summer.