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Lake Hawea, New Zealand: Outdoor Adventurers’ Paradise

Lake Hawea is located an easy beautiful 15-minute drive from Wanaka and on the way to Makarora and the West Coast. It is a location of peace, magnificent mountain ranges, and a stunning lake. Here are all you need to know before visiting here.

Lake Hawea: A Place Of Picturesque Beauty


Lake Hawea is the 9th largest lake in New Zealand. The lake is located in the Otago Region at an elevation of 348 meters. It has a surface area of 141 km2 and a depth of 392 meters. It is named after a Mori tribe who lived in the area before the Waitaha.

Lake Hawea is a lovely 15-minute drive from Wanaka on the way to Makarora and the West Coast. A place of spectacular beauty, severe mountain ranges, and legendary fishing sites. The lake provides a pleasant relief from the long hot summer months, with great views of the surrounding peaks and a lake to cool off in.

Maori History Of The Lake


Mori saw the Wanaka, Hawea location as a natural intersection. The Haast Pass led to the West Coast and its pounamu; the Cardrona Valley led to the natural rock bridge “Whatatorere,” which was the only way to cross the Kawarau River and the Clutha River without using boats. Mōkihi reed boats allowed for a quick return downriver to the east coast.

Until the early nineteenth century, the area was visited regularly by Ngāi Tahu, who caught eels and birds in the mountains above the Haast River and returned to the east coast by descending the Clutha River. Attacks by North Island tribes halted Ngāi Tahu use of the territory.

Te Puoho, the chief of the Ngati Tama, led a 100-person war party equipped with muskets down the West Coast and through the Haast Pass in 1836 and attacked the Ngāi Tahu campsite between Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea, capturing ten people and murdering and eating two children. Although Te Puoho was eventually assassinated by the southern Ngāi Tahu leader Tuhawaiki, Maori seasonal visits to the area halted.

Nathaniel Chalmers was the first European to observe the lake in 1853. He traveled from Tuturau (Southland) to the lakes through the Kawarau River, accompanied by Reko and Kaikoura. Due to sickness, his guides returned him down the Clutha in a reed canoe.

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What To Do In Lake Hawea


Boating, swimming, kite surfing, kayaking, riding, walking, or even simply lounging around on the beach are all fantastic things to do in Lake Hawea, which is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream.

There are walking and cycling trails available for people of all ages and levels of fitness. Following Timaru River Road all the way to Timaru Creek, where there is a picnic and camping spot, is a great way to get in a good walk from the Lake Hawea township. The path that starts here travels through a valley that is covered in beech forest until it levels out onto a river bank that is covered in braids.

Aside from the summer months, the preferred season for winter resort activities ranges from traditional ski excursions to backcountry adventures.

In addition, you have the option of either indulging in luxurious activities or going camping by Lake Hawea. A lot of people like to spend their nights camping out on the water.

Lake Hawea Festivals


The Top Paddock music festival, which takes place at the lake and lasts for six days, features music and camping and also hosts events related to water sports. The Lake Hawea Family Fishing Classic will not exclude fly fishing from its offerings. For those truly passionate about mountain biking, the Lake Hawea Epic, sometimes known as the “ultimate mountain riding challenge,” is an absolute must-do.

The Best Time To Visit


You can go to the lake all year round. Outdoor activities such as walking, camping, and boating are suitable for summer. Meanwhile, in winter there are 3 great ski fields.

Lake Hawea is the epitome of an outdoor adventurer’s dream destination due to its breathtaking scenery and challenging topography. What are you waiting for? Come here now to enjoy your wonderful travel!

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  • Anna

    If you want to travel the world through blogs then my articles will satisfy you. With a never-ending journey, I'll take you to the best cities and exciting experiences!

If you want to travel the world through blogs then my articles will satisfy you. With a never-ending journey, I'll take you to the best cities and exciting experiences!


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