What’s so great about lake Hawea, what to do and best things to see
A classic summer destination now offers year round experiences from summer water sports to winter skiing
LAKE HAWEA LOCATION – SAYS IT ALL
- Flat land around the lake is at the southern end near its outflow to Hawea River. Hawea village is a popular resort today. Historically Wanaka and Hawea were natural pathways to the Haast Pass and West Coast pounamu (jade). The Cromwell basin had rich food resources, including moa hunted to extinction approximately 500 years ago.
The only flat land around the lake is at its southern end, surrounding its outflow into the Hāwea
- Wanaka: 16 km
- Queenstown: 82km
- Arrowtown: 104 km
- Cromwell: 59km
WHAT TO DO, HIGHLIGHTS
- Authentic postcard scenery where the wild is present.
- Walking and cycling tracks for all age groups and fitness levels
- Idyllic summers, water based activities from kayaking, swimming, jet boats, water skiing where lazy days herald family time
- Winter resort adventures from the classic ski trips to backcountry adventures
- Luxury indulgence to camping by a lake, the choice is yours
- Queenstown / Arrowtown and West Coast are a short hop away for a change of scenery
BEST TIME TO GO
- Year round, summer sports, walks and outdoor activities. Winter opportunities are three ski fields nearby.
- There have been three Royal New Zealand Navy ships named after the Lake Hawea
- Striking beauty, phenomenal fishing with recreational activities for all tastes
- Lydia Brady, first women and to summit Mount Everest without oxygen
- Badly behaved freedom campers
WHERE TO TAKE THE BEST SELFIE
- Photographers pick from panoramic landscapes, kids laughing while falling off their jet skis or the extraordinary southern light as it hits the reflected mountains and lake
- Lake Hawea sure has a packed diary from six days of music and camping at the TOP PADDOCK music festival to water sports events. Fly fishing doesn’t miss out with Lake Hawea Family Fishing Classic. For dedicated mountain biking fans Lake Hawea Epic, or the ultimate mountain biking challenge is a must do date.
- The joy of water sports with choice galore
- Excellent bike part with the requisite mud piles and jumps
- Walks where the destination is either a picnic or an ice cream
- Opportunities to explore holiday excursions for 4WD drives to hanging out in the Queenstown mall
- Swimming at Scotts Beach, Bremner Bay and in front of the village is a designated swim zone complete with pontoon. No boating allowed
- Upper clutha historical society timeline, Timeline | UCHRS. Lots of handy information about what happened yesterday. The society manges on donations so every bit helps
WHO TURNED UP AND NAMED THE PLACE?
- Lake Hawea is named after a historic Maori tribe. The lake is the result of an ancient moraine damming the valley floor. The lake is fed by the Hunter River with the outflow, Hawea River (tributary) of Clutha, joins the mighty Clutha at Albert Town. The lake level was raised 20 metres to store additional water for the newly constructed Roxburgh dam. Nearby Lake Wanaka lies in a parallel glacial valley.
WHAT MAKES THE PLACE TICK?
- There is a reason you see swimmers in wetsuits. It is not tropical down south in Otago.
- A place where holiday memories are created
TRAVEL PACK INFORMATION
- Lake Hāwea was named after Kāti Hāwea, one of the first iwi to occupy Te Waipounamu before the southern migrations of Kāti Māmoe and Kāi Tahu. Human occupation was originally seasonal. At the head of the lake was an area, Manuhaea where a wananga (school of learning) was established. During the nineteenth century when European settlers arrived, settlements had been largely deserted following the 1830’s warfare between tribal groups. Streets in Hawea and elsewhere reflect the names of early European settlers. For genealogical details the Upper Clutha Historical Society is a repository well worth while consulting.
Unique journeys, personal adventures.