Blue Lake Walk in St Bathans

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There are 2 easy walks around the Blue Lake at St Bathans. The shorter loop walk is 2 km and will take 30 mins; the longer loop goes all the way around the lake being 3 km and taking about 1 hour. The signpost says it takes 1 hr 30 mins, but even with me going slow and taking a ton of photos along the way it was still only 1 hour. It’s a fantastic walk, the views on a still sunny day are just awesome with the reflection of the hills in the water, stunning. This is the perfect walk for photographers!

You won’t be able to ride around the Blue Lake at St Bathans; bikes aren’t allowed.

Explore the Local Area

If you think the Blue Lake looks stunning (and it does!) then wait until you see the majestic Southern Alps – from the air.  This scenic helicopter flight will delight and enthral you as you fly over the Southern Alps, landing on a glacier for that once in a lifetime photo opportunity.  Wow!

Quick Facts

        • Location: St Bathans, Central Otago
        • Distance: 3 km
        • Time needed: 1 Hour
        • Difficulty: Easy
        • Wheelchair Access: No
        • Route: Round Trip
        • Elevation: Unknown
        • Wet Feet: No
        • Toilets: Yes
        • Dogs: Leash only
        • Mobile Coverage: No
        • Last Updated: November 2020
  • Track Highlights

    When it’s a still day the mirror reflections on the lake are just stunning. There are excellent views all the way around on this walk.

  • Track Quality

    The track starts off really nice, flat and wide along the shorter loop track. However once you turn off and get about half way round the track turns into a skinny goat track. In parts you need to be a bit careful. There are markers with orange tips all the way around.

  • Hazards

    The track gets a bit skinny, watch your step. You’ll need to keep a really good eye on the markers.  I missed a marker and had to double back.

  • Transport

    Drive yourself there

  • Water


  • Driving Instructions

    Turn off SH85 between Alexandra and Ranfurly to St Bathans and take St Bathans Loop Road. At the town go off the main street to the DOC carpark, the track is nearby. St Bathans is 60 km north east of Alexandra off SH85.

  • Shops or Restaurants Nearby

    Only the St Bathans pub which has a lovely beer garden.

  • Area & Track History

    The Blue Lake is a historic, human-made lake. It’s a great opportunity to walk past old sluicings, and the see the remnants of the gold mining equipment that was used here – machinery that literally converted Kildare Hill into a lake.

    St Bathans was established in 1863 to service the area’s newly-established goldmines. In the 150 years since St Bathans has become a special place. St Bathans originally lay in a small gully. After a decade of mining, Kildare Hill, which enclosed the town on one side, had been flattened and by 1936, as a result of extensive hydraulic mining, there was a lake. The lake bottom was some 40 metres below the town’s main street and was filled with mineral-enriched water. This is what has given the lake its blue appearance.

  • Best Things To Do Near This Walk

  • Map Location of Blue Lake Walk in St Bathans

    Map of walk

Points of Interest Along the Walk

In the map above, if you zoom in on the walk, you’ll see all the following track points and their location. Each point has photos along with a description of each one.

Point 1: Start of the Loop Walk

We started the walk at the beginning where the car park is right next to the small village of St Bathans. There is a sign telling you what they think is the length, but it’s not quite right, at least the long walk didn’t take me 1.5 hours, only 1 hour. Both the short and long walks begin from here.

Point 2: Part Way Around the Blue Lake

I really enjoyed this walk, it wasn’t hard and had excellent views right the way around the whole lake. If you go in the morning when the water is really still you’ll be rewarded with stunning reflections on the lake.

Point 3: The End and Down at the Waterfront

The track winds around the hills and turns into quite a skinny path, be careful to follow the markers. The end of the walk will take you through the car park. Be sure to either take the car or walk down to the edge of the lake. Again, you’ll get stunning reflections on the lake from here too. Bring a picnic and enjoy the wonderful views.

Point 4: Video at the Edge of the Blue Lake

It was such a lovely day, and the reflections were perfect for this short video I took on the lake edge.

All walks in St Bathans…

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