Lake Kaurapataka

TIME : 1-2 days

FEATURES : Rainforest, lake with huge (protected) eels, river flats, camping

MAP : NZTopo50: Moana BU20 (NZMS260: Otira K33)

ROUTE GUIDES : Harper Pass (see Kaurapataka side trip) (1.64MB)


You must cross the Otira River. Even when this river is low it helps to cross it with a friend. The rest of the trip is quite straightforward, though you need a map, as most of the route up the Taramakau River is trackless.

A side trip (one day) to the hot springs in the Otehake River could be taken from the lake.


Start at Aickens, 15 km west of Otira. Coast to Coast Bus from Arthur's Pass (10.30am), Pvt Car or Hitch.

Lake Kaurapataka
Lake Kaurapataka

AdventureSmart - Tell someone where you are going!So you have an enjoyable and safe time for your visit to Arthur's Pass National Park, follow the Land Safety Code:

  • Choose the right trip
    • Learn about the route and make sure you have the skills for it.
  • Understand the weather
    • It can change fast. Check the forecast and change your plans if needed.
  • Pack warm clothes and extra food
    • Prepare for bad weather and an unexpected night out.
  • Share your plans and take ways to get help
    • Telling a trusted person your trip details and taking a distress beacon can save your life.
  • Take care of yourself and each other
    • Eat, drink and rest, stick with your group and make decisions together.

For more information, visit or use the Plan My Walk system

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