Our first experience on the South Island of New Zealand was exactly what we were looking for, dramatic peaks and amazing scenery. What we didn't know was we would meet some of the most amazing people we've come across on our New Zealand travels.
We arrived late to the Nelson Lakes visitors center around 2:30 we checked out some options for hiking to some basic huts to get familiar with the NZ hut system. Luckily there was a cancellation at Angelus Hut a very popular serviced hut which we wanted to originally hike to but it was booked out thanks to the crazy NZ busy season. The ladies at the visitor center booked us in and we were on our way.
We started at the Mount Roberts car park and decided to approach the hut via the 13km Robert Ridge track. Lucky for us it was an amazing day and even though it is not an easy hike if the weather is good we highly recommend the ridge. After about 4 1/2 hours of non stop hiking and scrambling over ridges and rock slides we finally reached the majestic Angelus Hut. It was quite the sight after a late start to know that we would have made it before sunset.
We got the the hut cooked dinner had a chat with a few campers that were up late then we passed out for the night. The next morning brought with it some interesting weather with low visability so motivation was at an all time low to start on the journey to the Speargrass hut which was our next planned destination. But luck was on our side, the warden had let us know around noon that there were cancelations so we booked another night.
We had a relaxing day and met some of the most amazing people that we actually ended up spending a week with in Christchurch after the hike. We spent the whole day talking with our new friends and the day flew by. The next morning we headed out back to the carpark.
The weather was amazing on our return hike via the Speargrass but after doing this hike if you're not staying at the Speargrass Hut, I would recommend taking Roberts Ridge back to the car park. All in all we recommend this track and hut 10/10 and we felt that it was one of the South Islands hidden gems.
There are also plenty of other awesome huts and hikes in this area. You could easily spend days out here.