5 reasons to book a Lake Hāwea escape

From blogger and photographer Sophie Piearcey

I am going to start this blog with a disclaimer… I have WAY more than five reasons, but for the sake of your time and sanity, I am sticking to five reasons why you need to book a weekend escape to this beautiful little lake nestled in the mountains. Lake Hāwea is often a quick stop off or a drive-through for most on their way to the West Coast of New Zealand or on to Lake Wānaka. BUT let me stop you right here, literally, stop in Hāwea and discover the magic we did while on a little staycation in our backyard. 

Explore your own backyard… you never know what treasures you will find

Ain’t that the truth. Who knew that this little town just a short 15-minute drive from Wānaka would hold so much to do! Not only is the landscape beautiful enough to have you lost in the views for a good few hours - there is so much to do here that may slip under your radar. Hike, bike, kayak, surf the man-made wave, swim, and take your boat or Jetski out for a hoon.

The Hawea River Wave in Lake Hawea, New ZealandLay-out of canoeing on Lake Hawea in New ZealandEbiking in Lake Hawea, New Zealand

Swim in a glacial lake

It hit 35 degrees as I laid back on the pebbly beach in Hāwea. Not only was I in the ultimate summer relaxation mode, but also bagged myself a free hot stone massage with epic views and the chance to cool off in a glacial lake was an added bonus. I feel like the above should sit on everyone’s New Zealand bucket list – we have quite a few to choose from. So grab your togs (swimsuit) and dip more than just your toes in the icy blue goodness. 

Lay-out of Lake Hawea in New Zealand

Explore the area on an eBike

If you have never been on an ebike then, quite frankly friend, you are missing out. It is epic. You can cover so much more ground with the added assistance, but still get the active adventure buzz you set out for on your holiday. With a huge amount of trails from Hāwea, to Wanaka and even down to Luggate along the Clutha river you are spoilt for choice with views, mountains, and trails. Ebiking opens up cycling to anyone of any age or ability, meaning that all can get involved during a trip to Hāwea and the surroundings. 

An ebiker in Lake Hawea, New Zealand

Stay in your very own glamping tent

There is nothing quite like glamping. All the feels of real camping in a beautiful forest setting with uninterrupted views of Lake Hāwea and the mountains that surround, but with the bonus of home comforts. A king-sized bed, fresh towels, a relaxing porch area, and even a dinner delivery service means that you can fully hit the relax button from the moment you arrive in camp. We stayed awake for hours chatting under the fairy lights in our tent, wandering back and forward from the kitchen area with hot cups of tea and midnight snacks. In the morning, you can even grab a freshly made barista coffee from the coffee cart to wake you up nicely. 

A girl sits outside a glamping tent at The Camp in Hawea, New ZealandLay-out of breakfast at the Camp in Lake Hawea, New ZealandNight time at the Camp in Lake Hawea, New Zealand

Hike, bike, relax, and hot tub under the clear night sky

Lake Hāwea gives you access to some incredible hiking trails. Isthmus Peak, Breast Hill, and Sawyer Burn, just to name a few. You will also find an extensive cycle trail network here plus mountain biking for the more adventurous folk. After all that activity and hard work, there is nothing quite like the feeling of slipping into a wood-fired tub and watching the day turn into night. After a day exploring Hāwea on a bike or foot make sure you arrive at your LandEscape hot tub early to make the most of the beautiful views. With zero light pollution on the property, you will be in for a real treat on a clear night. The stars are incredible and the milky way peppers the sky, I promise it will leave you speechless. 

The view of the mountains from a hot tub in Lake Hawea, New Zealand

Thank you to the team at Lake Wanaka Tourism for this wonderful escape. Also thanks to The Camp, Hawea for your hospitality & LandEscape Wanaka for the E-Bike & hot tub adventure.