Lake Coleridge, South Island, New Zealand
Nestled snugly between two mountain ranges and surrounded by lush green farming valleys, Lake Coleridge’s clear blue waters are a breathtaking wonder in New Zealand’s South Island. Set in the high country of the Christchurch-Canterbury region, Lake Coleridge’s freshwater basin was molded by the glaciers, volcanoes, earthquakes and other natural events of New Zealand’s formation. The lake was named after a member of the Canterbury Association and…
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Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Coleridge! Article topics include:
- All About Lake Coleridge
- Where to Stay
- Vacation Planning Tools
- Things to Do
- Known Fish Species
- Lake Coleridge Map
- Statistics / Weather / Helpful Links
- Lake Coleridge Gifts
Looking for Lake Coleridge cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.
All About Lake Coleridge, New Zealand
Nestled snugly between two mountain ranges and surrounded by lush green farming valleys, Lake Coleridge’s clear blue waters are a breathtaking wonder in New Zealand’s South Island. Set in the high country of the Christchurch-Canterbury region, Lake Coleridge’s freshwater basin was molded by the glaciers, volcanoes, earthquakes and other natural events of New Zealand’s formation.
The lake was named after a member of the Canterbury Association and descendant of a famous English lyrical poet and philosopher, Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The Maori, however, who would have crossed the Southern Alps looking for the precious greenstone they called pounamu, gave the lake the name Whakamatua. One of the word’s meanings, “pause,” could refer to the relief and respite the lake offered Maori visitors to its waters.
Lake Coleridge’s diverse basin is important to sheep farmers. These farmers can trace their practice to livestock-raising settlers that arrived quickly after the first Europeans came to survey New Zealand’s lands. Farm tours are available that will allow you to experience first hand not only what high country pastoral lifestyle is like, but that will also intrigue you with interesting history about the region.
The lake itself holds a large landlocked population of rare Chinook salmon, one of the three species of salmon in New Zealand. Brown trout and rainbow trout are also plentiful, and the lake supports a popular fishery. Boating and windsurfing are great pastimes on Lake Coleridge as well.
Lake Coleridge is the site of the country’s very first hydroelectric system. The power station, commissioned in 1914, is located on the glacial moraine that dams the lake and is perhaps worthy of a visit. The Lake Coleridge Power Station, operated by TrustPower, harnesses the power of the Rakaia, Harper, Acheron and Wilberforce Rivers.
Mt. Hutt, one of the mountains that sandwiches Lake Coleridge offers skiing and snowboarding in winters. Hiking, four wheel driving tours, farm stays, and garden tours are other options for complementing your visit to the lake.
Christchurch, the bustling New Zealand city, is less than an hour away. But Lake Coleridge’s arresting beauty will be enough to satiate any vacationer’s hunger for something special.
Things to Do at Lake Coleridge
These are some activities in the Lake Coleridge, New Zealand area visitors can enjoy:
- Vacation Rentals
What Kind of Fish Are in Lake Coleridge?
Lake Coleridge has been known to have the following fish species:
- Brown Trout
- Chinook Salmon
- Rainbow Trout
Find Places to Stay at Lake Coleridge
If you’re considering a Lake Coleridge lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.
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More Sites to Book a Lake Coleridge Vacation
Our interactive Lake Coleridge lodging map above is an easy tool for comparing VRBO rental homes and nearby hotels with Booking.com, but there could be times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodations. Here are some other lake lodging partners we recommend:
Lake Coleridge Statistics & Helpful Links
Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed
Water Level Control: TrustPower Limited
Surface Area: 11,614 acres
Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,194 feet
Maximum Depth: 656 feet
Completion Year: 1914
Trophic State: Oligotrophic
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