St Arnaud and Nelson Lakes
St Arnaud is at the heart of the Tasman District’s winter playground and is the gateway to the Nelson Lakes National Park, you are guaranteed to use a lot of film in this region. Nelson Lakes National Park is found at the northern end of the Southern Alps and about 80km southwest of Nelson, and offers many of the attractions and activities expected of an Alpine Environment. The centre of Saint Arnaud has a petrol station, camping facilities, a village store with postal services, a cafe-restaurant.
Its stunning natural beauty and location, close to the District’s only ski fields (Rainbow Ski Area) provide great drawcards. The magnificent National Park, including Lakes Rotoiti and Rotoroa, offers great opportunities for tramping, swimming, fishing, kayaking and boating.
St Arnaud is an appealing launch pad for a host of outdoor adventures all year round. Rainbow Ski Area in winter offers great alpine ski and snowboard runs as well as fantastic views over the lake, perfect when you strike a bluebird. During summer the hiking trails in the national park and water sports on the lakes make St Arnaud a haven for outdoor pursuit lovers and family groups.
Activities such as eco-tours, gold panning, café endulgence, golf as well as lake cruising and other water sports are provided for your enjoyment.
For the angler, the rivers in the area provide some of the best trout fishing in New Zealand and the surging rivers provide plenty of rushing adrenaline for kayakers and rafters.
The “Revive Rotoiti Mainland Island” project ensures that visitors and locals can see a part of New Zealand which is heavily protected from pests and modification. This project has resulted in many species of native birds growing in numbers. If you are Lucky you may get a glimpse of the threatened kaka and kakariki, while tuis, bellbirds and other species of native bird.
A water taxi service operates from a jetty at the northern end of Lake Rotoiti, and there is a daily shuttle bus service along State Highway 63 with connections to Nelson, Murchison, Greymouth, Blenheim, Westport and Picton. Pickups are from the centre of Saint Arnaud, in Saint Arnaud you will find a very helpful Information Centre providing maps, a range of accommodation options and travel options.