5-day hike on the Travers-Sabine Circuit

I simply could not get enough of New Zealand’s pristine nature so I decided to go on a five-day hiking trip in the Nelson-Lakes National Park. With a minimum of planning I set out on the Travers-Sabine Circuit, a loop that took me up one valley, across a high mountain pass, and back through another valley.

Nelson lake


The lower parts were always in forest and often went along lakes, which was beautiful, but not enough for me; so I went on a side trip to Lake Constance and to Blue Lake, apparently the clearest lake in the world!

Blue lake (clearest in the world!)

Lake Constance

The hut system here in New Zealand gave me a lot of options and enabled me to make my plans spontaneously: Every few hours there would be a hut, and with hut tickets or a hut pass (6 months for less than 100NZD!) one can just show up and stay. The huts are not (at all) luxurious, but they are practical and well built, and provide shelter, water, an outhouse and a fireplace (if below tree line).

John Tait-hut in the forest

I also decided on a more strenuous return that would bring me above tree line, and although the weather forecast was not reassuring, the view I was rewarded with was!

Sitting on top of the world

Gorgeous view

I had chosen to go up to the well known Angelus hut, on the first day in the off-season (this hut normally requires a booking). With the backcountry-season ended also a streak of good weather: I had had almost exclusively warm and clear autumn weather, now it turned cold and rainy. Time to continue to the North Island!

Angelus lake with hut

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *