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Boulder Lake to Anatoki Forks, Tasman

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Boulder Lake to Anatoki ForksIntermediate - Experienced

Submitted by Will Hayward

Info Info
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Trail Information





Tasman and Nelson


Back country - remote

Point to Point (one way)

Very hilly

Native bush
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops

Intermediate - Experienced

Not Suitable (Slow)
15:00 (Moderate)
11:00 (Fast)



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This route connects the Boulder Lake Track (about 20km) with the Anatoki Forks Track (also about 20km). Between them is 15 km of scrambling along and below a high ridge. The views are magnificent but the going is very slow, with significant amounts of rock scrambling. Contingency planning is essential in case of problems with injury, weather, etc. The ambitious and well-prepared runner is rewarded with incredible views.

Boulder Lake Track and Anatoki Forks tracks are both maintained but fairly rough in places with multiple stream crossings, fallen trees, slips, etc. The route from Boulder Lake to Yuletide Peak is not maintained and is marked only by cairns -- it is very slow going and some way-finding is required.

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Features of interest

Dam workings can be found at Boulder Lake, but requires a detour. The Kahurangi Ranges and the view to the Dragons Teeth in particular are magnificent.

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 30%

Technical Single Track: 50%

Moderate Single Track: 20%

Route Data


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  • Access

    Boulder Lake Track trailhead, James Road, Bainham, Golden Bay. Note: the start of the track was moved a few years ago but maps often still display the old start, further down James Road. The actual start is close to the bridge over the Aorere River, and is well marked.

    Plenty of parks normally available. You could probably get a bus to Bainham and walk 4-5km from there.

    43 km

    39 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Following the two tracks is relatively straightforward. It is essential to have a map that you have studied for the middle section, as in various places you will likely find yourself off the path and you'll need to know where you trying to go in order to find it again.

    Very patchy.

    Waterproof leggings, Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Compass, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries.

    Water available at Boulder Lake and Anatoki Forks

    Only possible to do in one day in dry weather. Pay close attention to the weather forecast. If bad weather is moving in, turn around and exit back via the Boulder Lake Track as the ridge is very exposed.

    Heights, rocks, potentially exposed to bad weather. There are huts at Boulder Lake and Anatoki Forks, as well as Adelaide Tarn (slightly off route) so bring enough gear that you could shelter overnight if necessary.

  • Post run indulgence

    Wholemeal Cafe
    Commercial Street, Takaka
    Best real-fruit ice cream you've ever had.

    Mussel Inn
    Onekaka, Golden Bay
    Iconic kiwi pub that brews their own beer.

  • Sponsor this trail

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