Lake Hawea, Lake Hawea

Lake Hāwea is located in the Otago Region of New Zealand, at an altitude of 348 metres. It covers an area of some 141 km² and is, at its deepest, 392 metres deep.
Lake Hāwea is named after a Māori tribe who preceded the Waitaha people in the area.
At its greatest extent, which is roughly along a north-south axis, Lake Hāwea is 35 kilometres long. It lies in a glacial valley formed during the last ice age, and is fed by the Hunter River. Nearby Lake Wanaka lies in a parallel glacial valley eight kilometres to the west. At their closest point (a rocky ridge called The Neck), the lakes are only 1000 metres apart.
Lake Hāwea is dammed to the south by an ancient terminal moraine created some 10,000 years ago. In 1958 the lake was artificially raised by 20 metres to store more water for increased hydroelectric power generation at the Roxburgh Dam.
The only flat land around the lake is at its southern end, surrounding its outflow into the Hāwea River, a short tributary of the Clutha / Matau-au, which it joins near Albert Town. The settlement of Hāwea is found at the lake's southern shore.
The lake is a popular resort, and is well used in the summer for fishing, boating and swimming. The nearby mountains and fast-flowing rivers allow for adventure tourism year-round, with jetboating and skiing nearby.
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Lake Hawea Reviews
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22 reviews
  • You usually come here anyway when you travel from the west coast via Haast to Queenstown. Immediately after Lake Wanaka (which we had already liked very much) comes Lake Hawea. We had been offered an incredible combination of colors of water and mountains and made several (unplanned) several small stops on the tour to Queenstown. "Every few meters" the whole scenery looked different again. The intense colours of the lake are impressive, coupled with the special mountain formations. We within a total of about 2 hours of constantly changing lighting conditions, which made the whole thing special once again. How impressed one is in the end will certainly also depend on the weather; especially at the lakes.
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  • Like its neighbour in the west, Lake Hawea is deep blue in fine weather, but despite its similarly elongated shape, it is not a "twin". Because the Hawea lake is artificially dammed up unlike Lake Wanaka, and you can see that in the summer: The shoreline with the mini-terraces on the edge reveals a changing and thus deeper water level, which is not exactly to the beauty of the lakeside. But if you are interested in floristic slack, you will find especially large club lilies (Cordyline australis) nearby.
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  • Great place with a lot of things to do and see nearby. Beautiful lake and plenty of fish to catch.
  • One of the most beautiful lakes of new zealand. We camped there and could admire a great sunrise in the morning
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Popular things to do in Lake Hawea

Side trips from Lake Hawea

Duration: 8​h
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