Paddy's Track

July 23, 2021

A popular hill walk near St Arnaud is the Mt Robert loop which takes walkers up Pourangahau / Mt Robert a few kilometres southeast of the town. The 9km loop is comprised of two tracks: Paddy’s Track, a gentle trail passing Bushline Hut; and the lower section of Pinchgut Track which consists of steep switchbacks to the roadend carpark. We wanted a less steep trail so opted to take Paddy’s Track up to Relax shelter near the summit and return the same way (11km total).

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The trail climbs up high above the lake, granting panoramic views across the entire region

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The party passes over a saddle near Bushline Hut

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A walker crests the hill near Bushedge Shelter, about to tackle the steep downhill of Pinchgut Track

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Needle ice was present along much of the track. It's the first time I've experienced it.

Back in St Arnaud

We were only in town for a couple of nights but enjoyed heading down to Lake Rotoiti which was a short walk from our accomodation. I already want to come back to this region, possibly for some fast-packing in summer - there are so many interesting longer trails to explore.

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Meeting the local longfin eels (tuna kuwharuwharu). They are friendly and squishy. I researched more about these creatures and learnt they can live to 60 years old before swimming to Tonga to breed.

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A night walk didn't reveal any kiwi, but a narrow layer of dense fog settled over the lake making for dramatic sights