Rotorua and Blue lake
This is the first of two tramping articles since our return to New Zealand.
They are not within the Kapiti region, however they are both within a day trip of Kapiti so hope they might inspire you to take a look at them.
This is a truly wonderful area that is often only considered in connection with the alpine route over the Travers Pass or the rugged Lake Angelus trail. Both are spectacular but as a group of eight older trampers (59 – 74) we decided to take a relatively easier option.
Day One: Kapiti to St Arnaud.
Leaving Kapiti in two vehicles we took the 1pm ferry to Picton and drove straight to St. Arnaud. We stayed overnight in a lovely lodge – 4 to a unit gave reasonable rates and the local café opened specially for our evening meal.
Day Two: St. Arnaud to head of Lake Rotoroa: ½ hr drive, 20mins water taxi.
It`s a 15km walk to West Sabine Hut. Elevation gain 200m (not to mention all the extra ups and down in between). 6 ½ hrs (signed as 5 ½)
The walk is long but relatively gentle, some interesting river flats, huge rocky caverns, the greenest moss imaginable, waterfalls and a pristine mountain river. The route up to Blue Lake is slightly more rugged with a steep patch and several avalanche paths to cross – most fairly settled rock falls but a recent one of snow and ice.
Blue Lake itself is quite small but beautiful: blue, green, clear cold water reflecting the mountains north, west and east. Early in the morning we discovered one lonely blue duck just resting on a rock.
Lake Constance is worth the visit – the contrast so marked: a deep dark lake, rocks shrewn at one end, little vegetation and sheer walls on two sides.
We all loved the trip and would recommend it to any reasonably fit tramper; good tracks, beautiful bush, warm huts and exceptional views of lakes and mountains.