Lake Wakatipu holds title to New Zealand’s longest lake stretching 80km in length, it occupies a single, glacier-carved trench surrounded by mountains. The unusual shape of the lake means it has a “tide” of sorts, which results in the rise and fall of the water every 30 minutes (give or take) of about 10 centimetres. Maori legend has it that this rise and fall is the heartbeat of a huge monster named Matau who lays at the bottom of the lake.
The lake which boarders Queenstown has a lot more to offer than just the towns water supply, we have put together a list of our favourite activities to do in the mighty Lake Wakatipu:
The Frankton to Queenstown walk or the “Lake Wakatipu Ride”, part of the Queenstown Trails, is a great way to experience the lake with the whole family. This leisurely trail is easy enough to follow for all ages and levels, connecting the Frankton Arm with the Queenstown Gardens as you stroll along the edge of the lake.
Lake Wakatipu offers year-round trout fishing and our local fisherman are in the know to the good spots. According to Queenstown Fishing the mouths of the Greenstone and Lochy Rivers are particularly rewarding.
Although we may be biased we believe Queenstown is home to the most scenic kayaking and paddle boarding experience on Lake Wakatipu. Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) has quickly become a popular water sport in Queenstown, while kayaking is a great way to get around the bays of Lake Wakatipu. Framed by stunning mountain ranges while paddling on crystal clear alpine water, we can’t think of a better way to spend a summers day.
In summer Wakatipu’s many beaches and bays turn into popular swimming holes for locals and tourists alike. Catch a $10 water taxi across from town and set up for a day by the water across at Kelvin Heights jetty.