Lake Brunner

Visit Lake Brunner, West Coast, NZ

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  • Lake Brunner is South Westland’s largest lake, at 40 square kilometres. It is surrounded by rainforest and fed by many streams from river valleys. It drains into the Arnold River, which meets the Grey River to reach the sea at Greymouth, 30 km to the north.

    Lake Brunner is increasingly popular as a tourist destination, especially the town of Moana, at its northern edge, where most accommodation and activities are based. There are many walking and cycling trails in this area.

    Water-based activities are the Lake’s main attraction, from yachting and boating to kayaking and fly-fishing for brown trout. There are also rivers suitable for white-water rafting and kayaking within easy reach.

    Accommodation at Lake Brunner (NZ)

    Most of the accommodation around Lake Brunner is located at the township of Moana. Here, there are luxury self-contained apartments and holiday homes for rent.

    For hosted accommodation, there are several hotel/motel-style lodges, as well as bed & breakfast establishments.

    For campers and backpackers, there are motor camping facilities and backpacker accommodation at holiday parks.

    Transport around Lake Brunner

    The Lake is only 40 minutes drive south-east of the town of Greymouth. A bus/shuttle service is available. For travellers heading north from South Westland, it is about 1 hours’ drive from Hokitika. Both Greymouth and Hokitika have airports.

    Lake Brunner is on the TranzAlpine scenic railway route between Christchurch and Greymouth. The train makes a 3-hour stop at Moana, allowing time for a quick tour, or passengers can stay overnight.

    Tourist Activities around Lake Brunner

    Lake Brunner has developed into the “Riviera” of Westland, where people can enjoy safe boating and fishing. Boat charters and guided tours are very popular.

    The Lake is also known for its year-round fishing for brown trout. A number of local guides are available and can arrange equipment and licensing.

    There are some good mountain biking trails near to Moana. A 130 km-long circuit of the lake is popular with road cyclists. There are also quad-bike (ATV) tours available.

    There are many bushwalks to lookouts and waterfalls around the lake, some of which take in historical sites of timber milling. Walks range from easy, 20-minute rambles to difficult 6-hour hikes. Guided walking tours are available, which visit areas known for their forest and bird life.

    Within the town of Moana, there are a famous pottery and a NZ greenstone jade-working studio.

    A replica 1860s village, typical of many in the area during the gold rush era, is found about 10 km south of Greymouth, within easy reach of the Lake.

    There are further adventure activities based around white-water and black-water (cave) rafting on rivers north and south of the Lake, the operations based in Greymouth.

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    Lake Brunner