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*Hawea, Wanaka and Dunstan Lakes

The townships at Hawea and Wanaka are mainly set up for passing tourists and the snow season. Beautiful in autumn as the surrounding trees turn red and gold against snow capped mountains. Lake Dunstan is a man made lake which has only recently been developed. Fed from Lake Wakatipu, Hawea and Wanaka, it's waters are clear and clean. This area feature deep glacial valleys with a prevailing wind in spring, summer and autumn from the west, "Roaring Forties" from the Southern Ocean. Most lakes are fed by snow and glacial melt, and remain cold all year round. Air temperature can go into the 30s ('C) but can also go down to 5'C during southerly storms - good steamer recommended. Check out the McKenzie Country and Lake Ruataniwhi

Dial-a-forecast: 0900 999 81
Info Centre: Ardmore St, Wanaka. Ph 03 442 1233
Local Shop: Good Sports Windsurf. Dunmore St, Wanaka.


Chop jumpingSlalomRace boardLearnerRiggingCamping
15 km from Wanaka. There is a camp ground at Windsurfer Bay north of the Hawea Township. Good access all round the lake.
Suits: Slalom/longboarding. Intermediate....
Wind: NW, N on hot summer days wind can accelerate quickly.
Water: Flat - chop.
Watch: The conditions can be extreme.
In Detail: 15 km from Wanaka, one of the windiest places, works in west to north pre-frontal conditions. Access all round lake but easiest spot is "windsurfer bay" at Lake Hawea Motor Camp just north of township.


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  • 1 Roys Bay at the township is a popular place. Good facilities and a hire school available here.
  • 2 Dublin Bay is 8km round the lake on the road to Hawea - another good launching spot, shallow - good for beginners.
  • 3 The Lake Outlet, 5 km north of town is the most popular spot for locals. Access is out through the marked channel.

Suits: Slalom, longboard. Beginners...
Wind: NW, W brings strong thermals = onshore.
Water: Flat - chop.
Watch: -
In Detail: Road access restricted to southern and northeastern shores but plenty of locations available for launching.

  • Rays Bay Popular beach in Wanaka township, fine gravel , good beginner/int with onshore west and north/west prevailing winds. Good in strong winds too.
  • Eely Point Another popular location, sheltered rigging in all directions.
  • Glendhu Bay Camping location 20km west of town, good in northerly, great for family camp/sail.
  • Lake Outlet 5 km north of town, most popular spot for locals, best in NE/N/NW winds, 5-10 knots stronger than Rays Bay. Grassy rigging, clear channel marked.
  • Stevensons Arm about 30 km from town, 10 km down 2nd left north of Albert Town on West Coast road. Best in N/NE, access across farm fields, grass, clean wind and chop. Popular with visiting sailors.
  • Makarora at head of lake, 1 hrs drive from Hawea on West Coast road. Launch from roadside at Wharf Creek. Wind velocity high, exeperience recommended. Settlement 7km further on, shop, petrol, cabins and campsites.

General - camping grounds at Glendhu Bay, Albert Town and Hawea. Camping on some out of town reserves ok but not roadside or recreation reserves. Good Sports in Dunmore hire beginner to advanced gear. Christmas and NewYear is one big party.


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5 hours from Christchurch, 3 hours from Dunedin, 30 mins from Queenstown. Head for Cromwell, which is on the Southshore of the 24.65 sq miles of lake. Picnic areas, toilets, parking, boatramps etc.
Suits: Slalom/longboard. Beginners...
Wind: NW,W = thermals. E is also good and steady.
Water: Flat - chop.
Watch: -



Inland basin at the foot of Mt Cook National Park includes Lakes Tekapo, Pukaki and Ohau. Prevailing winds funnel down lakes and can often exceed 40 knots at head of lake, recommeneded for experienced sailors only, southern ends feature large waves in onshore conditions with reduced windspeeds. In calmer weather expect variable breezes up to 10 knots. Unpopulated places with plenty of access points.


A (Hu)man made lake about 5km from Twizel, purpose built. Reliable afternoon breeze 8-10 knots on hot days. NW winds up to 25 knots. Facilities.

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