St Arnaud village is the gateway to the Nelson Lakes National Park.

It’s easily accessible from Christchurch (via the Lewis Pass), Blenheim or Nelson; and offers a variety of outdoor adventure for the novice and experienced. Furthermore, sandflies don’t distinguish between wealth, age or nationality!

It’d been ten months since our feet had worn trekking boots and the compass direction we embarked on had been on the radar since forever. Cripes, we knew it had been a while also since shouldering a back pack too. Sometimes we take aging gracefully for granted, strewth!

However, while the body still can, we will.

Straddling Lake Rotoiti on the western side, the canopy forest of manuka and beech sheltered us from sun’s heat. Insect repellent, sun screen and human combustion moisture blurred. The water looked inviting but was certainly frigid and the odd care at foot placement from landslipped mountainside had us steadily pace the 12 odd kilometres to Coldwater Hut.

It sleeps twelve; there was already a party of six settled having cheated with taking a boat the length of the lake. Another two arrived after us to share the view; the swallows dancing; the giant monster eels at the end of the jetty; and the hordes of bite sucking natives.

Dipping your feet into the water is optional with what lurks below. Covering up with 80% deet above it wasn’t.

Both balanced out the pleasant emotion that it felt fantastic to be back on the landscape, exploring.

Before we can’t!