The spectacular landscape of Nelson Lakes National Park was sculpted by massive glaciers during the most recent ice ages, and many glacial landforms remain – the alpine lakes Rotoiti and Rotoroa are two most obvious examples.
The honeydew found in the park’s beech forests is formed in droplets poised on the end of a threadlike tube that protrudes from each tree trunk. It is created by scale insects, which process the tree sap into pure sugar. For many native birds, lizards and insects, the honeydew is a source of high-energy food.
The Department of Conservation is actively working in the park to create a pest-free refuge that will support greater numbers of kaka, kakariki and bush robins, as well as giant snails and native bats.
The Department of Conservation provides hikers' accommodation in the park - a mix of 'Serviced', 'Standard' and 'Basic' huts(opens in new window). 'Serviced' huts have bunks or sleeping platforms with mattresses, water supply, heating, toilet and hand washing facilities - some have cooking facilities.
'Standard' huts have bunks or sleeping platforms with mattresses, a toilet and water supply. 'Basic' huts provide shelter with limited facilities and services.
There is a selection of motels and lodges in St Arnaud, as well as two camping grounds.