St Arnaud is a settlement in Nelson Tasman. It is the gateway to Nelson Lakes National Park. The locality is also known as Lake Rotoiti which better describes this lakeside community. However, the town's official name remains St Arnaud as Lake Rotoiti (literally small lake in Maori) is the name of a locality in New Zealand's North Island.
State Highway 63 leads from Marlborough on the east coast to the West Coast. Traveling east, Picton (1 3/4 hours), Blenheim (1 hour 20 minutes), Renwick (70 minutes) and Wairau Valley township (35 minutes). Traveling west Kawatiri Junction (15 minutes), Murchison (40 minutes) and Westport (2 hours 10 minutes). There are two main ways to get to St Arnaud From Nelson. The quickest is traveling through Richmond and Wakefield on State Highway 6. The turnoff is 10 minutes past Wakefield and St Arnaud is signposted through to the village. The road intersects with State Highway 63 two minutes east of the village. Otherwise, State Highway 6 continues to Kawatiri Junction which is the end of State Highway 63.
Nelson Lakes Shuttles run both scheduled and unscheduled services to St Arnaud from Picton, Blenheim, Nelson and other destinations. Specalising in transport for hikers and other out door enthusiasts, they can pick you up from the end of walking tracks as well as offering a conventional bus service. During the ski season, daily shuttles run from Blenheim, Nelson and Mouteka to the Rainbow Ski Field, the turn-off for which is 5 minutes drive from St Arnaud township.
St Arnaud is small enough to get around by foot. Lake Rotoiti is 5 minutes walk from the shops on the main road. The Department of Conservation visitor information centre is just off the main road west of the shop and is well signposted. There are bushwalks throughout the settlement which are alternatives to taking the road.
- Rotoiti Water Taxis, 47 Main Road, ☎ 03 521 1894 or 021 702 278 ([email protected], fax: 03 521 1897), . transport across Lake Rotoiti as well as scenic trips or lake fishing around the lake. Kayak and Canoe hire. edit
- Nelson Lakes Shuttles, ☎ 03 521 1900 or 021 490 095 ([email protected]), . edit
- Rainbow Ski Field Transport, . edit
- Lake Rotoiti, spectacular scenery
- Department of Conservation Nelson Lakes Visitor Centre, View Road, ☎ 03 521 1806 ([email protected], fax: 03 521 1896), . 8.00am to 4.30pm with extended hours in summer. Informative dioramas, displays, audiovisual display, updated track and weather information and advice. edit
- Go walking in Nelson Lakes National Park. Walks are available for a few minutes to a couple of weeks.
- Ski Rainbow, The turnoff to the skifield is 5 minutes south of St Arnaud and is well signposted., ☎ 03 521 1861 or Snow Phone 0832 22605, . Ski and snowboard hire and ski school available. Lift Passes up to $65. edit
- The Rainbow Rage, . An annual bike ride from St Arnaud to the hot springs of Hanmer Springs scheduled for 15 March 2008. 108 km through spectacular scenery. edit
- Trout fishing but clean your fishing gear first!
- Glider Flights, 10km west of St Arnaud on State Highway 63, ☎ 03 521 1870 ([email protected]), . $60 vouchers can be purchased for a flight of up to 15 minutes. Phone 03 548 3533 for a voucher edit
- Ice Skating. Ask at the Visitor Centre for details.
- St Arnaud Alpine Store, Main Rd, ☎ 03 521 1854 (fax: 03 521 1854). All the necessities including petrol. A few luxuries as well. edit
- Elaine's Alpine Cafe, Main Rd, ☎ 03 521 1979. Seasonal. edit
- Alpine Lodge Restaurant, Main Rd, ☎ 03 521 1869 ([email protected], fax: 03 521 1868), . edit
The Alpine Lodge.
- The Yellow House, Main Rd, ☎ 03 521 1887 ([email protected], fax: 03 521 1882), . edit
- DoC Camping Ground, St Arnaud Area Office, Department of Conservation View Road, ☎ 03 521 1806 ([email protected], fax: 03 521 1896). edit
- Alpine Chalet, Main Rd, ☎ 03 521 1869 ([email protected], fax: 03 521 1868), . $23 and up. edit
- Alpine Lodge, Main Rd, ☎ 03 521 1869 ([email protected], fax: 03 521 1868), . $130 - $160 (2 persons). edit
- Nelson Lakes Motel (St Arnaud Log Chalets), Main Rd, ☎ 03 521 1887 ([email protected], fax: 03 521 1882), . edit
- St Arnaud Holiday Cottages, ([email protected]), . edit
- Avarest Bed and Breakfast, 33 Kerr Bay Road, ☎ 03 521 1864 ([email protected], fax: 03 521 1865), . $220 - $260 double. edit
For the adventurous the Rainbow Rd to Hanmer Springs poses a 4WD or mountain bike challenge. For permission (and the gate key) to travel through contact Rainbow Station. Otherwise the choices are the wine and sun of Marlborough, the art and culture of Nelson or the wet and wild West Coast
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