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Travers-Sabine Circuit, Nelson Lakes National Park

Day 1: Water taxi to Coldwater Hut, walk Coldwater Hut to John Tait Hut

Tom about to get on the water taxi across Lake Rotoiti

Tom on water taxi

Shortly after leaving Coldwater Hut and the masses of sandflies

Travers Valley

First and only lunchstop where the shoes came off (the sandflies got lunch too)

About to start walking after lunch

And 5 hours later we got to John Tait Hut (we were the only ones there)

Dinner on night 1 - fresh vegetables and meat!

Day 2: John Tait Hut to Upper Travers Hut

The dehydrated packs for day 2

The (home) dehydrated food supplies for the trip (pumpkin, yellow squash, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, tomato pasta sauce, cauliflower, eggplant)

Tom photographing Travers Falls

South Island Robin - incredibly friendly

Crossing one of many avalanche paths

The cirque where Upper Travers Hut is based

Tom chopping wood supplies at Upper Travers Hut

Day 3: Upper Travers Hut to West Sabine Hut

Slightly less pleasant weather to start the day

Golden Spaniard

Tom on the climb up to the saddle

Getting rugged up as the sleet hits

Unsurprisingly we didn't spend long at the Travers Saddle

On descent

East Sabine Valley

Long scree slope descent


Checking out the map at lunchtime

West Sabine Hut

Day 4: West Sabine Hut to Blue Lake Hut, side strip part way to Moss Pass


King of the castle



Not having to carry water - fantastic (pretty icy in this instance - see snow drift above where Tom is drinking from)

Tarn on the way to Blue Lake

The standard lunch: vitaweats, hummus, cheese, semi-dried tomatoes and ham/salami

On the Moss Pass track above Blue Lake

Sabine Valley

Golden spaniard

Tom in the grass


Pasta - before and after

Blue Lake

Day 5: Day trip to Waiau Pass

Climbing a scree slope to bypass bluffs round Lake Constance (spot Tom)

Our best weather day - blue sky!

Looking back to Lake Constance

There was still a lot of snow on the way to the pass

Tom at Waiau Pass - massive snowdrift on other side

Looking toward to the Sabine Valley from behind the rock I was using as a wind break

On the way down

Descending with Lake Constance in the background

Lake Constance

Mt Mahanga

Enjoying soup back at Blue Lake Hut after the 9 hour round trip (it started raining shortly after we got back)

Day 6: Blue Lake to West Sabine hut

It rained all morning so we didn't leave the hut til after lunch. The afternoon was fine and Tom spent quite a bit of time photographing waterfalls.

Day 7: West Sabine Hut to Sabine Hut

Sabine Hut (you can't see the thousands of sandflies in this photo)

Enjoying a swim in Lake Rotoroa - if everying is underwater then the sandflies can't get you!

Day 8: Sabine Hut to Angelus Hut via Speargrass Hut

We had hoped to take the route via Mt Cedric but the weather wasn't great so we opted for the longer wet-weather route.

The track from Sabine Hut to Speargrass Hut was predominantly beech forest

There were some long sections of boardwalk as well

Speargrass Hut for an early lunch

Close to the high point on the way to Angelus Hut

The weather was closing in when we arrived

Day 9: Angelus Hut to St Arnaud via Robert Ridge

At least we could see the Lake Angelus in the morning (unlike when we arrived the night before)

Lake Angelus and Angelus Hut

alpine flowers

Angelus Hut

By the time we left after lunch the cloud had lifted

Lake Angelus and Angelus Peak

Robert Ridge

Descending to Lake Rotoiti

The last section of track