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Surrounded by mountains from one end to the other, Lake Wakatipu would have to be one of New Zealand’s most scenic lakes.
Lake Wakatipu is arguably the jewel in adventure capital’s crown – Queenstown’s township is centred on its shores, plus it offers access to some of the country’s wildest, most remote natural landscapes.
Shaped like a lightning bolt, it is New Zealand’s third-largest lake at 80km long and its depth varies from 378-420 metres. The smaller townships of Glenorchy and Kingston are also situated at its shores – at opposite ends of the lake.
Maori legend has it that the lake’s shape comes from the grave of Matau, a giant who captured Manata, the daughter of a Maori chief. Manata was rescued from Matau’s lair by her beloved Matakauri. Matakauri decided to make the Wakatipu safe by setting fire to the giant’s bed, which burned a hole more than 400m deep. Melted snow filled it to create Lake Wakatipu.
As the legend goes, only Matau’s heart survived and its continuing pulse causes the lake to regularly rise and fall.
Lake Wakatipu is one of the many exciting playgrounds that exist within Queenstown. Soak up the natural beauty of the Remarkables mountain range, Cecil and Walter Peaks by going on a Queenstown lake cruise.
Local family-operated company Million Dollar Cruise has two high-end boats to take you on your Lake Wakatipu excursion. Their 90-minute trip offers plenty of fantastic local information as you soak up the scenery and mountain views.
If you’re after plenty of local history, including Maori legends about the area, climb aboard Southern Discoveries’ catamaran. The relaxing 1.5-hour cruise takes you to several points of interest on the lake, with uninterrupted views of spectacular scenery.
For more information, and to find great discounts and deals on cruising in Queenstown, check out Bookme.co.nz.
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