Lake Rotomairewhenua / Blue Lake
- Saint Arnaud
- Landmarks & Hotspots
Lake Rotomairewhenua (also referred to as ‘Blue Lake’) is located in the depths of the Nelson Lakes National Park. Translated as the ‘land of peaceful waters’, Lake Rotomairewhenua holds the title of the clearest lake in the world.
The visual clarity of the ethereal lake can exceed 80m, a clarity that is surprisingly close to that of distilled water. The blue-violet and green hues provide stunning contrast to the rugged mountain ranges that envelop it, yet being nestled deep in the alpine wilderness, very few get to experience such beauty.
As one of 16 picturesque lakes that make up the national park, Blue Lake is well and truly a hidden gem. It can be accessed via a side trip from the Travers-Sabine circuit, 4-7 days in duration, where you’ll experience waterfalls, moss-covered streams and alpine rivers. For those without that much time to spare, you can turn it into a two day round trip by taking a water taxi from the Lake Rotoroa Jetty to Sabine Hut. The Blue Lake Hut has 16 bunks to cater to overnight travellers.
Please respect the people of Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō and the purity of the water in this sacred place by not washing yourselves, your clothes or your dishes in the lake.
Getting there: Depending on the direction you want to travel and the time you want to spend, Blue Lake is a multi-day hike that can be accessed from the alpine village of St Arnaud. For a short weekend trip, catch the water taxi from the Lake Rotoroa Jetty. Alternatively, longer trips can begin from Lake Rotoiti, following the Travers-Sabine circuit.
Photo credits: (1) www.nelsontasman.nz, (2) Helicopters Nelson.