Lake Kaurapataka, Arthur's Pass National Park

Lake Kaurapataka at sunset, looking from the Lake Stream outlet towards the Big Tops (Koropuku) range. Curiously, a narrow natural dam at the far end of the lake stops it draining into the Otehake river which is a 100m lower. The Otehake valley enters at the right. A short scramble along the steepish side of the lower gorge (at the head of the lake) leads to some river flats and the Otehake hot springs. If the river is low then you can wander up the gorge via 5-6 river crossings.

Excellent camp sites lie halfway up the lake on the right - great for swimming in summer... but a bit cold in this frosty June view. Lots of large eels are guaranteed all year round though. The forest surrounding the lake is particularly beautiful. Gaining access to the mountain tops surrounding the lake (the most impressive being Mt Pfeifer) involves a difficult bush-bash through a 100-200m band of typical West Coast scrub.

  • Frozen shoreline of Lake Kaurapataka in winter.

  • Arthur's Pass overview | Back to Jonathan's gallery
    Copyright (c) 1994 Jonathan Carr