Lake Opuha

A beautiful piece of secluded paradise off the regular route! Hidden away in the South Island's Fairlie Basin, Lake Opuha is a man-made lake built with the purpose of acting as a irrigation reservoir. The lake is also a great source of recreation with wonderful fishing, boating and water skiing opportunities.
Freedom camping is permitted at Lake Opuha at the 3 designated camp areas, except between 23 Dec - 2nd Monday in Jan when no camping is permitted. Length of stays are limited to 2 nights only.

Lake Tekapo

The township faces north across the remarkable turquoise coloured lake to the mountainous drama of the Southern Alps.
Here you can kayak, fish, or tramp around Mt. John. Accommodation and camping available also. A Mackenzie must see, Lake Tekapo is surrounded by rugged mountains, wide open skies, tussock vegetation and at times, brightly coloured lupins.
When sunlight hits the surface, the lake it appears transform to a magical bright blue. This is due to due to fine particles of rock flour deposited from the surrounding glaciers which reflect the sun, transforming the water turquoise.
In colder months when the sun is less bright, the white pointed peaks that frame the lake appear to double in its transparent, mirror-like surface.
There are many opportunities to stop and take photographs around the lakes’ perimeter, with several walking tracks and lookouts.  The colours, light change constantly with the seasons, challenging photographers to capture the essence of this wild and rugged region.

Lake Alexandrina

Lake Alexandrina is a spectacular example of a South Island high country lake, and is a hidden gem to many in the Mackenzie region. Visible from the top of Mt John, Lake Alexandrina’s long and narrow form is put in to perspective. The lake is spring fed and surrounded by tawny coloured dry tussock of the region and surrounded by tall mountain peaks.

A paradise for those into high country fishing, the lake is abundant with brown and rainbow trout and salmon. It’s also very deep, making it an exciting challenge for fly fishing. Lying parallel to much larger counterpart Lake Tekapo and sitting within a protected wildlife area, Lake Alexandrina is a serene place to head. Free from motor boats and jet skis, the lake and its surrounds are magnificently peaceful.

A walk around this beautiful lake will give you a true experience of the wild, open, serene and peaceful Mackenzie region. Sit and listen to the birdlife, the water lapping the shore, and marvel and the tranquility of this special place.
No motor boats or engines permitted on this serene lake, only paddles. Great place to kayak or fish! 

Lake Pukaki

Lake Pukaki is the largest lake in the area, and it proudly shows off New Zealand’s tallest peak, Aoraki/ Mount Cook, from the many look out points around its shores.
The water colour of the lake is a bright turquoise due to glacial flour, made from extremely fine rock particles that have come from the surrounding glaciers. The lake is fed at its northern end by the braided Tasman River, which has its source in the Hooker and Tasman Glaciers.
When the sun hits the surface of the lake, it reflects off the particles transforming it to a brilliant blue. The combination of the magnificent lake, surrounding peaks and wide open skies are a dream for photographers, and pose the difficult challenge of capturing the grandeur of the ever-changing landscape.
Lake Pukaki’s spectacular vista can be enjoyed by car with stop offs for photographs at the various look out points. There are spectacular views of the lake on the drive on State Highway 80 to Aoraki/Mount Cook Village, and also along on the road between Twizel and Lake Tekapo Village. Alternatively you can enjoy the lake on foot or by bike on one of the many tracks on its perimeter – including the stunning Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail, or in the air via a scenic flight.

A very untapped resource for fishing and an incredible place to experience from a kayak!

Lake Ruataniwha

Lake Ruataniwha is a beautiful man made lake on the edge of the Mackenzie District. Most popular for the professional rowers, Ruataniwha also has boating access. Freedom camping is allowed for self contained vehicles only and all year round except Christmas holidays. 
Kayaking and biking is plentiful here, with multiple tracks around the lake.

Lake Benmore

Lake Benmore is situated east of the highway between Twizel and Omarama and is another beautiful man-made lake. Benmore is a hive of activity, being a popular camping ground and an ideal spot for boating with the family. In the area are walking/tramping/biking tracks and the lake is beautiful to kayak. 

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