As mentioned in a previous article, the Waitaki Valley is one of the 5 best places in New Zealand to visit to see fall foliage.
Lake Benmore, which is located in Waitaki, is New Zealand’s largest man-made lake and was formed behind the Benmore power station. Lake Benmore is 74.5 sq km, with a shoreline of 116 km. The lake holds 1.5 times more water than Wellington Harbour.
The closest town to Lake Benmore is Otematata. The turnoff to Lake Benmore is approximately 24 km (15 mi) from Omarama. It should take you approximately 25 – 35 minutes on highway 83 from Omarama to get to Lake Benmore; I usually drive it in 20 minutes.
Highway 83 is deserted most of the time, not because there isn’t much to see there, but because most tourists opt to drive via highway 8 to see Lake Pukaki and Lake Tekapo when driving to and from Christchurch.
The photo shown below was taken while walking on the Benmore Peninsula Track.
- Lake Camp near Hakatere, Canterbury, New Zealand
- Fall foliage at Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
- Hawkdun Range and sheep, Central Otago, New Zealand
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