Paddy's Track starts at the lower car park at the end of West Bay Road, a left turn about 2 km from St Arnaud. St Arnaud is located on State Highway 63 which runs from SH6 at Kawatiri through to SH1 at Blenheim. St Arnaud is 87 km from Nelson, the closest large centre. There is plenty of accommodation at St Arnaud to suit all budgets, plus a small store which sells food including backcountry meals.
Paddy's Track leads through some lovely beech forest, breaking out into the open for excellent views of Lake Rotoiti below. Not far from the start is a junction with another track that leads down to the lakeside route to Coldwater hut.
Lake Rotoiti from Paddy's Track
After a while, the track climbs above the forest and zig zags up to a great lookout point over the lake. From here the hut is less than an hour away.
The hut is situated in a great location overlooking St Arnaud with the Mount Richmond Forest Park as a backdrop.
View from Bushline Hut
To return I simply re-traced my route from the previous day, however another option would be to continue to follow the track up to the Robert Ridge. At the ridge track, turn right to drop back down to the road and car park.
Of course Bushline Hut can be used to break up the trip to Angelus Hut, about 5 hours away along Robert Ridge.
|Time||1.5 to 2.5 hours|
|Water||Rain water tank|
|Cost||Three hut tickets|
Related pagesNelson Lakes National Park