Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife
Permit required - New Zealand has a unique system of simple (mostly) backcountry huts that typically have wood/coal heating stoves, plastic-covered mattresses, clean water, and bunkhouse communal living. Space can be limited and permits are required. Check in the DOC offices of major towns for permits. Good information can be also be found here.
A good flat trail.
This is one of the flatter, more comfortable longer trails you'll find in New Zealand. The first five miles of the trail roll along Lake Rotoiti through thick Southern Beech forest. Occasionally, there are stream crossings and the remnants of some older landslides ('slips' in Kiwi talk).
After a larger slip, you come to the end of the lake and enter the grassy, u-shaped river basin of the Travers River. You soon come upon the Lakehead Hut. Grab a bunk, continue on the rest of the trail, or cut over to the Coldwater Hut on the the Lakehead Hut to Coldwater Hut Connector. From here, there are a few creek crossings along the way which in the wet season may cause you to remove your boots or just get wet.
Run through the basin for the next mile as you creep closer the the river. Soon you are back on the hillside in a Southern Beech forest until you finally arrive at a long suspension bridge that crosses the Travers River. Take care as you step down the treacherous face that leads to the bridge.
Flora & Fauna
Lots of cool birds. Bellbirds, fantails, kaka, and Kea parrots, wekas, rock wren and paradise and blue ducks. The area is dominated by the black beech trees which produces a sweet liquid that in turn produces a black mold on all the trees. This can cause a smell like sour, rotting apples.