Lake Ellery

Lake Ellery

The Lake Ellery Track is a superb, short and easy walking track. It that takes you to the south end of the lake along the edge of its river outlet which flows into the Jackson River. It is surrounded by native rainforest, mostly old rimu and kahikatea trees, full of lichen and moss. In several locations, there is access to the river. The river is also exceptionally scenic, full of colour from reflections, river plants and natural tree tannins.

Along the way you are likely to run into several giant forest dragonflies, or kapokapowai which means “water snatcher”. This alludes to the long extendable jaw of the nymphs that shoots out to snatch prey. Like in “Alien” but much cuter. When you see one, stand patiently and it may land close by – they are quite territorial.

You arrive at the lake at the edge of a rocky outcrop with a moderate drop to the water. It is quite deep, so you may be able to dive in, but it would be safer to push through the harakeke (flax) to your right to access the water’s edge.

The walk takes about an hour return. Access to the track can be found about three kms along metal Jackson River Road. Turn off from Haast Jackson Bay Road immediately after crossing the Arawhata River bridge. You can also access the Jackson River on this road.

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