Lake Dunstan

Lake Dunstan

The Clyde Dam created a 26 square kilometer impoundment, called Lake Dunstan. The lake extends from Clyde, through the Cromwell Gorge and widens out beyond Cromwell. Cromwell is located at the junction of the roads to Wanaka, Queenstown and Mt Cook, beside the lake, which is highly accessible, and offers vast opportunities for relaxation and recreation.

Lake Dunstan has become a major tourist attraction, with facilities for yachting, rowing, boating, fishing, swimming, picnicking and camping. Lake Dunstan is proving to be an extremely popular, and well used tourist and holiday facility, especially in the warmer months.

Early in 1982, work began on pre-forming beaches around Cromwell. Particular attention was paid to providing opportunities for family swimming and recreation. Many varied interests were catered for. Apart from swimming, fishing and boating, the opportunities abound for horse trailing, cycling, camping, playing or just browsing around. North of Lowburn are the Lowburn Collie Dog trial grounds, reputed to be among the best in New Zealand, and located beside the lake.

Lake Dunstan is considered to be one of the safest lakes in the country. The Central Otago District Council is responsible for the safety and navigation on the lake subject to the powers of the Lake Dunstan Harbour Bylaw 1996 and the Water Recreation Regulations 1979 (presently under revision). Copies of the documents are available from the Cromwell Service Center in The Mall, but are summarized as follows:

  • No-one shall operate a motorboat at a speed more than 5 knots within 30 meters of any other vessel or person in the water, or within 100 meters of the shoreline upstream of the Dead Man’s Point Bridge, on the Clutha Arm.
  • Water ski lanes are demarcated by orange/black posts and red buoys. They are for water-skiers only and are exempt from the 5 knot speed limit. Direction of travel is anticlockwise.
  • Jet skis are treated the same way as any other motorized craft except that they must comply with certain noise restrictions.
  • There are non-motorized zones created for swimmers and these are demarcated by yellow marker buoys.

Remember the ten golden rules:

  1. Watch the weather.
  2. Don’t overload the boat.
  3. Carry safety equipment.
  4. Don’t overload the boat.
  5. Ensure engine reliability.
  6. Know the safety regulations.
  7. Guard against fire & petrol spills.
  8. Don’t mix drinking & boating.
  9. Carry reserve fuel.
  10. lnform someone where you are going.