A strange thing to recommend, but the local Department of Conservation (DOC) centre provides you with very useful information on the National Lakes National Park, walks and tramps available, and camping facilities. The best place to start if you are visiting.
Elaine is one of the local women who opened up her restaurant in 2003 for the first time. She intends to keep the restaurant open from approximately September to April each year.
The area is welcoming, with space for indoor and outdoor dining. The restaurant is open from about 11 am to whenever the last diner leaves.
The food has a definite local flavour, making the most of Nelson's place as a fresh-food capital. Elaine also serves delicious ocal Nelson beers and beverages and kids are catered for with a kid's menu too.
A wonderful place long-awaited in St. Arnaud!
Favorite Dish: Venison. Tender as anything. Served with a fresh salad. Totally yum.
The chocolate mud cake - all I can say is that for a serious chocoholic, I was full and had absolutely no complaints!! Dark, moist and chocolately.
There is nothing a New Zealander appreciates more from a tourist than some "pleases" or "thank-yous". New Zealanders live in special places like St. Arnaud because they want to, and all have alternative jobs and responsibilities apart from looking after tourists.
They don't expect any tips, but an appreciative and friendly (but not familiar) manner is a good idea.
And if you REALLY want to make an impression, offer to donate a few dollars to the new multi-functional community hall that is currently being built. Donations can be left at the shop. (Yes, the shop - there's only one!) The small community of a couple of hundred people are currently raising funding for this facility which will benefit not only the children in the area, but visitors as well.
If you want to get an idea of the local area, have a look at the website below. This was created by some of the locals.
The only dangers a person will face here is something of their own making. If you want to, you can hike for days in alpine climates and not see any civilisation at all apart from other trampers. Huts are provided for trampers along the main walks, but this is it. It is best to be prepared with warm changes of clothing suitable for snow and rain, sleeping bag etc. You need to take your own food (and rubbish) in and out. Ideally go with a partner so that if one of you gets into trouble, the other person can go and get help.
Unfortunately past tourists couldn't resist doing their business next to running water so Chryptosporidium, a bacteria that causes a nasty little tummy-bug, can live in mountain streams. If you take water from the streams, make sure you boil it for at least 5 minutes first. If you are desperate, make sure you drink from the top of still (not stagnant!) pools of water as the bacteria are heavy and float to the bottom. (No pun intended!)
If you are intending to tramp anywhere in New Zealand, it is best to visit the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council website first - just in case!
Available for approximately six weeks of the year on natural formed ponds situated two kilometres from the St Arnaud village centre. Set in beautiful native bush and administered by the Department of Conservation. Ice skate hire is available from the village centre.