Crafted by glaciers over 10,000 years Lake Hawea is ringed by steep sided mountains with the snow-capped Southern Alps in the distance.
The classic U-shaped valleys formed by rivers of ice that ground their way to Cromwell and beyond before retreating left a legacy for the area’s inhabitants. The snow-fed lakes and rivers of the Upper Clutha are now a huge attraction for visitors to the area.
At 35 km in length, and much of its shoreline uninhabited, Lake Hawea is considered one of the gems. Like many of the southern glaciated waterways, the local schist rock gives it its distinctive blue colour, which at times is comparative to the spectacular waters of the Pacific or Mediterranean Oceans.
The clear, clean water is a magnet for boaties, paddleboarders and kiteboarders with its well-stocked trout population bringing anglers and fly fishers from afar. With Cross Hill sited on forest land on the lakes edge, generations of families and travellers seeking a nature break from the larger commercial resorts enjoy these waters every year.