Angelus Hut Circular Track

Angelus Hut Circular Track, Nelson Lakes National Park, New Zealand:

The first day: From Mt Robert Car Park outside St Arnaud up to Angelus Hut via the Speargrass Track camping at the Speargrass Hut.
The second day: Ascent to the Angelus Hut and return via the Robert Ridge Route.

Curiously, the real difficulty of this circular hike was not walking the Robert Ridge Route (a straight-forward non-exposed ridge walk) but the hike along the Speargrass Track, marked as an easier exit track. It definitely was not when I was there. Several sections of the trail had been washed away, route finding was very difficult, and a stream had to be waded several times as well as traversing a rather exposed muddy section. Even on the initial section up to Speargrass campsite, a rather large river had to be waded. In summary, the Speargrass Track unexpectedly turned out to be the single most difficult walk I did in New Zealand. Once at the Angelus Basin (and hut) the trip back down via the Robert Ridge was straightforward, the initial section being the steepest, with great views all around.

Robert Ridge Route
Robert Ridge Route

Highlights: The Angelus Basin; walking on the Robert Ridge.

Difficulty: 4 for the Robert Ridge track. 5 for the track, with route finding issues, large streams and a couple of exposed sections.

Information, bookings (Angelus Hut and campsite must be booked in advance in high season) and maps: DOC (Department of Conservation).

The complete photogallery of the Angelus Hut Track is available on flickr.

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