Submitted by Jenny Hirst
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Front country - easily accessible
Out and Back
Undulating, small hills only
This is a lovely short run linking up 3 walks around Lake Rotoroa, great to do if you are camping there, or between bigger missions in the area. Short drive from Murchison to the west and and St Arnaud to the east.
Start at the DOC campsite/picnic area on Porika Rd, just a short distance up from the beachfront. Head right up Porika Rd for a short distance (this is a 4 wheel drive track that can also be explored for a longer mission). Very soon there is a sign for the Nature Walk on your right. Take this path and follow it for about a km to the lakefront, through a variety of tall forest trees (kahikatea, beech), shrubs, climbing vines, mosses and ferns.
Cross the waterfront, past the old carved canoe belonging to an early resident of the lake, to find the Flower Brothers track on the other side of the wharf. This is a very short (200m) track that leads to Porika Rd. Turn left and follow the road past the grand Rotoroa Lodge, across the Gowan River Bridge and onto the Braeburn Road - which is a gravel road. After around 400m you will reach the start of the Braeburn Walk on your left.
Initially the track follows the remains of a road constructed in the 1950s during the hydro-electric investigations. It then becomes single track forest trail. There is a loop at the end, and also a signposted track up to a waterfall which is worth investigating. The waterfall track is the steepest part of the run but it is a reasonably well formed track, with some roots and rocks and it zig-zags a bit. On completion of the loop return to the campground the way you came.
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Features of interest
Beech forest with mature trees, and beautiful ferns. Lake, waterfall, mountain views. Plenty of birdlife.
Make Up of Run
Easy Single Track: 80%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 10%
Gravel Road: 10%
Lake Rotoroa, Nelson Lakes. Start at DOC Campsite, Porika Road, just up from the main beach (it is signposted)
No public transport. Plenty of parking at the beachfront and the DOC campsite.
Short-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket.
Tap at campsite, probably OK to drink but best to provide your own.
Waterfall track can be muddy after rain. Sandflies!
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