Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Nelson Lakes... Lake Rotoroa...

This was my next stop... Lake Rotoroa... oroa is Maori for long lake
The next place I haven't been to before... 
And it is stunning.
Nelson Lakes National Park, formed in 1956 and covering 
1,020 km², is situated in the northernmost ranges of the Southern Alps. 
Best known for its lakes, both large and small, this 101,733 
hectare park has tranquil beech forest, craggy mountains, clear
streams, open tussock lands and river edge clearings.

During the last Ice Age, massive glaciers gouged out
troughs in the mountainous headwaters of the Buller
River. Today these troughs are filled by Lakes
Rotoiti and Rotoroa, which are the largest
lakes in the area.

Turn off State Highway 6 at Gowan Bridge. A sealed road
takes you 11km up the Gowan valley and river to the lake. 

Over the Gowan River bridge...

And there is the lake. I don't know what I expected but 
I was really surprised. It's magical.

Lake Rotoroa is fed by the D'Urville and Sabine rivers. The 
greatest depth is 145 metres and the lake is completely 
surrounded by beech forest.

 There are introduced trout, which attract recreational fishermen. 
There is a  fly-fishing lodge, Lake Rotoroa Lodge
on the edge of the lake.

I drove round the track, through the stands of mixed beech
podocarp, matai, miro, kahikatea... Tree fuchsia...

And here I am... In sandfly territory...
This is a Department of Conservation campsite.
DoC looks after all this National Park and
provides tracks and walks, picnic areas, camps
and huts to help enjoy and explore it.
Nelson Lakes retains a semi-wilderness feeling,
the tracks and huts are uncrowded,
perfect for exploration and relaxation.

Mist lingering round the mountain tops...

On one of my walks I found this very ingenious bike...
For transport or cutting the grass I'm not sure...
But my legs seemed more reliable!

All these little houses made up the tiny settlement
of the lake... Probably all belong to fisher people...

The day I left it had started to rain and the lake was a
symphony in greys and mysteriously shrouded in
cloaks of cloud... Absolutely beautiful...

 And... The Gowan River which flows out of the lake at this point,
making the lake one of the sources of the  Buller River system.

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