Nelson Lakes backcountry gets a new remote weather camera

28th April 2023|2min

All aspects of backcountry recreation in the Nelson Lakes National Park will be improved thanks to a new remote mountain camera near the park’s most popular hut and overnight hike. 

Media Release 28 April

Located above Angelus Hut and Rotomaninitua/Lake Angelus, the camera is part of a NZ Mountain Safety Council (MSC) initiative to improve users' safety in the area.  

The images will significantly improve the data available for the Nelson Lakes regional New Zealand Avalanche Advisory (NZAA), run by MSC, as well as providing beneficial insight into current weather and conditions for trampers. 

Nelson Lakes is a challenging area for avalanche forecasting due to the lack of snowpack data and limited ability for field observations.  

The camera will capture the terrain around Angelus Hut and Rotomaninitua/Lake Angelus, looking south. This footage will show a range of key slopes that the avalanche forecasters will benefit from seeing during the winter, as well as the general weather and conditions in the area. 

MSC Chief Executive Mike Daisley says the new camera offers many benefits for a wide range of backcountry enthusiasts.  

“It will allow our avalanche forecasters to assess the snow coverage across a range of terrain aspects and elevations, that is of particular importance for this region,” he says.  

Daisley says when it comes to trampers, the routes into Angelus Hut have long been identified as an area of focus for both MSC and the Department of Conservation (DOC) and the benefits of this camera go far beyond just supporting avalanche forecasting.

Nelson Lakes camera set up

Nelson Lakes National Park DOC Operations Manager John Wotherspoon says the camera images will be a vital tool for visitor centre staff to showcase the true conditions to visitors.

“It’s easy to underestimate the conditions deeper in the park, many people look up at the north facing slope of Pourangahau/Mt Robert which can be seen from the village and think those are the same conditions they’ll experience further along the ridge, but that is not the case,” he says.   

MSC and DOC would like to thank Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō for their support of this one-year trial.  

The camera structure has been designed to minimise its overall visual impact and physical footprint, while being able to withstand the harsh alpine environment, including the presence of inquisitive kea.  

The camera will undergo a one-year trial, with the intention of becoming permanent should the process be deemed a success. 


For further comments contact:  

  • Communications Advisor Rebekah Wilson at with any other queries, data or photos. 
  • DOC Nelson Lakes Operations Manager John Wotherspoon on 027 8397139