The lake was originally known as Hays Lake after D. Hay, an Australian who came to the district looking for sheep country in 1859. Its name gradually changed to Lake Hayes, as its discovery was credited erroneously to Captain "Bully" Hayes, an early local character of the district.
The southern end of the lake is close to State Highway 6, while the western side is bordered by Slope Hill. The main area for access to the lake is the northern end which has a large grassed area for recreation activities.
The Lake Hayes Showgrounds which have a pavilion and parking area has an annual show called The Lake Hayes A&P Show.
A loop track runs around the lake and forms part of The Queenstown Trail and is popular for use by walkers, runners and cyclists.
Time 2 Go publishes a seasonal 'accommodation' favourites list for the wider Queenstown region including Arthurs Point, Fernhill, Frankton, Kelvin Heights, Sunshine Bay and Wakatipu Views (Queenstown Hill and the road between Queenstown and Frankton). The list also includes outer lying regions such as Arrowtown, Dalefield, Gibbston, Lake Hayes, Lower Shotover, Glenorchy, Kinloch and Kingston areas to assist you with your travel planning.
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