Nestled in the upper reaches of the Rangitata River, Lake Clearwater is a 45 minute drive from Methven.
Lake Clearwater is a place of relative peace and solitude. Motor powered craft are not permitted on the lake however rowboats, kayaks, and windsurfers can be used. The strong and consistent winds funnelling off the mountains are a slice of heaven for windsurfers.
A small village of around 100 holiday homes (or baches as they are called in New Zealand) are located on the ground that separates Lake Clearwater from Lake Camp, a two minute walk away. The village of holiday homes first started as a collection of fishing and duck shooting cribs in 1925.
Plenty of brown trout and perch can be found in Lake Clearwater, and the lake is an important wildlife refuge with the rare and endangered Great Crested Grebe.
Overnight camping is permitted at a basic reserve area situated on the South end of Lake Clearwater, providing toilet facilities and water (required to be boiled for drinking). The Lake Clearwater Reserve has an honesty box provided for the camp fee.
A 10.3km walking & mountain biking circuit track follows the lake shore, and a tramping track to the summit of Mount Guy starts at Lake Clearwater providing fantastic views of the area.
This lake is part of the Ashburton Lakes, a group of lakes located in the Hakatere Conservation Park including Lake Clearwater, Lake Camp, Lake Heron, Lake Emma, Lake Emily, Lake Denny, Lake Roundabout, Spider Lakes, and the Maori Lakes. Most of the lakes are easily accessed by gravel roads (from Hakatere Corner), however there are some that can only be accessed on foot or with a 4WD vehicle. The lakes are quite shallow which means they are warm in summer and often freeze over in winter. Fishing using starts on the 1st November and closes on 30th April.
This spectacular Canterbury high country is also a fantastic destination for non-water orientated activities including mountain biking, photography, hunting, hiking, tramping, walking, and bird-watching.