HomeOtagoOtago: Where to fishHawea Lake

Lake Hawea

Lake Hawea provides peaceful and secluded fishing for a good population of brown and rainbow trout and a small population of quinnat salmon.

Fish type Brown trout, rainbow trout, salmon.

Lake Hawea is situated between Wanaka and Makaroa, on SH6, on the Haast Highway.

The lake is surrounded by a small gravel beaches and tussock-covered banks and is located in a very beautiful valley amidst mountains and some of the very best scenery in the Otago region.


Access map

Check conditions View the MetService weather forecast

The stocks of fish depend on the fluctuating level of the lake which rises and falls as water is drawn off for power generation. When the level rises in the warmer months, trout move close to the shore to feed on the insects that have moved onto to feed on the previously exposed lake bed.

Much of the shoreline is inaccessible making a boat the only way to reach most of the productive fishing areas. Favoured spots are the Neck, on the north-west side about halfway up the lake, the Hunter River delta at the northern tip, the camping ground at the southern end and Silver Island, on the eastern side of the lake opposite the Neck.

The section 2km from the access road to the Neck, called Hunter Valley Junction, offers good spinning and fly fishing and can have a very good evening rise. Fish can be spotted cruising the shoreline along this section.


Roads along the east and west of the lake provide numerous access points. Access to The Neck is possible from SH6 and from the road to Hunter Valley Station off SH6, although only by foot after heavy rain. Exposed mud makes even foot access difficult when the lake level is low.

Boat ramps: 

- Next to the campground, off SH6 near Hawea township

- Off SH6, south of Hunter Valley Station Road

- Off Hunter Valley Station Road

Recommended lures

Hare and Copper, March Brown, Woolly Caddis, Hare’s Ear, Corixa, Black and Peacock.

Dry flies:
Black Gnat, Twilight Beauty, Dad’s Favourite, Coch-y-Bondhu,  Royal Wulff, Royal Coachman, Adams.

Wet flies / Streamers:
Hamill’s Killer and large yellow or brown streamer patterns such as rabbit .

Spinners: Gold or black Toby, Z spinner, King Cobra.

Tributaries Tributaries to Lake Hawea are:
- Hunter River
- Dingle Burn
- Timaru River
Applicable to Lake Hawea
Region Otago regulations
Season All year
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit 2 trout 4 salmon
Size limit (cm) None
Boat fishing Fishing from boats is permitted.
If fishing from a mechanically propelled boat, the boat must stay at least 100m from any angler fishing from the shore.

Other fishing waters of the region


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