• Activities:

    Camping, Photography, Kayaking, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:


  • RT Distance:

    31.1 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1430.4 Feet


This is the CLEAREST LAKE in the world and a must see. It takes some effort to get here, but well worth it. 

This lake has the clearest visibility fresh water found anywhere in the world with visibility between the 70-80 meter range. And the Colours are beautiful! (We just ask that you do not swim in this lake or do your dish washing in it as it is a super fragile ecosystem, oh and the duck in the picture is a native duck called a Whio there is only 3000 of them left and this is a place these ducks are often found again please respect this)

The best way I have found to get to Blue Lake is with a 14 km paddle from the Lake Rotoroa campground to the Sabine hut this takes between 2-3 hours depending on types of kayaks and paddlers ability. The Word Rotoroa is Maori for long lake you will learn why it has been called this. There is a water taxi available to those without kayaks but the fare is reasonably expensive looking at about $45 dollars each way. Trailhead is marked where kayaks can be launched as well as where the water taxi leaves from.

After you have reached the Sabine hut at the end of Lake Rotoroa you only have 25km of hiking to do to reach the Lake. The trail is well marked  as it just follows the river up the Sabine Valley. The hike is reasonable easy as it does not gain much altitude but there are a few steep sections sturdy foot wear recommended. 

This trip can be done in two days but it's hard work stay in the Blue Lake hut. This trip is more comfortable in three days with a stay in the Blue Lake hut on the first night and a stay in the West Sabine hut on the second night.

Also day trip up to Lake Constance for an alpine lake swim 1hr from Blue Lake hut.

Pack List

  • Sturdy footwear
  • Food 
  • Water (drinking water available at huts)
  • Jacket 
  • Map
  • Camera
  • Head torch
  • Kayaks, Paddles and Lifejackets
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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