Natural Attraction

Lake Hauroko

(03) 249 7924
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Lillburn Valley Road, Lillburn

Lake Hauroko is New Zealand's deepest lake and one of its most southern. The S-shaped lake is 30km in length, covers an area of 63 square kilometres, and has a surface that is 150m above sea level - but most importantly is is 462m deep. It is located between the similarly-sized lakes, Monowai and Poteriteri, and drains into Foveaux Strait via the 20km long Wairaurahiri River.

The Wairaurahiri River is the steepest boatable river in New Zealand and can be explored via a number of commercial jet-boat operators. It is 27km of rugged, rock strewn grade three rapids that drops 200m to sea level. Unleash the adrenaline on a jet boat ride across Lake Hauroko and down the exhilarating Wairaurahiri River to the southern coast.

As well as jet boating, there are various other recreational opportunities in the area, including water activities and fishing. There are easy walking tracks around the lake and also access to longer and more difficult tramping tracks and routes.

Lake Hauroko has two Islands; one smaller island at the southern end of the lake and the larger Mary Island. Mary Island is famous for the discovery of a burial site of a Māori woman in a cave on the eastern side of the island in 1967. Believed to have been placed in the burial site sometime around 1660, the woman was laid to rest wearing a flax cloak and seated upright on a bier made of sticks. It has since been discovered through an archaeological investigation that she was a chieftainess of the Ngati Moimoi tribe. The burial still remains on the island today, with a mesh grille ensuring that people can view it, but the woman will remain untouched.

The name Hauroko is of Māori origin and translates into English as "the soughing of the wind".

Great South
Last modified
Thu 13 Jan 2022
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