Lewis Pass, Lewis Pass National Reserve

The tarn at the top of the Lewis Pass, early morning. This photo was taken after a night's camping when returning from a trip to the Paparoas. There are lots of frogs in the tarn (once spent a night here with a PhD in frogs... had to listen to translations of frog calls all night long).

St James Walkway

The St. James walkway (80km) begins from the tarn. This is an easy graded walk which most people spend 4-5 days on. Some run it in a day! It passes through large sheep stations and features wild horses. Access to Nelson Lakes National Park to the north is gained via Waiau Pass (can require an ice axe and some care). At the end of the tarn the track descends through picturesque forest into Cannibal gorge. Gloriana and Fairie Queene are the peaks of interest in Winter at the head of this valley. The mountains and the St James walkway are vulnerable to regular avalanches in Winter and Spring.

The state highway is only 40m to the left of this view.. it descends to the Maruia Hotel (pub) which is known for its natural hot springs. These are great at midnight when returning from a trip - particularly under snow. On the other side of the pass there are more hot springs: they're free, right next to the road, and there's even a campsite (Slyvia Flats). Because these are at the side of the river they may need a little digging out form time-to-time and the temperature can vary depending on river levels.

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Copyright (c) 1994 Jonathan Carr