Otematata is a summer-holiday hotspot and is humming with campers, cyclists and other nature lovers during the camping season. There are four council-managed campgrounds in the area with other comfortable accommodation options available too. Positioned on the edge of Lake Aviemore, Otematata is a great base for exploring the two nearby hydro dams, Benmore and Aviemore and taking the spectacular Benmore Peninsular Walk. If you want to see something truly awesome, then take this walk.

Benmore Dam which is the largest rammed earth dam in New Zealand and the second largest hydro-electricity producer in the country. Also nearby is the Otematata Wetlands which is a tranquil place to stop and relax.

As summer winds down and the days shorten, the area transforms with strong autumn colours from golden poplars and willow flanking the edges of the lake.


Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail

New Zealand’s longest and most spectacular cycle trail – this is a trail not to be missed. The name says it all; start at Aoraki Mt Cook in the heart of the stunning Southern Alps or the equally beautiful Lake Tekapo Village and wind your way round mountains, deep-blue lakes and canals, then rolling farmland before meeting the Pacific Ocean on the edge of Oamaru Harbour.

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Aviemore Dam

The Aviemore Hydro-Dam was constructed during the 1960s and became fully operational in 1968. The Aviemore’s generators are the largest in New Zealand, generating enough electricity each year for about 120,000 New Zealand homes. The pipes that carry water into the power station, called “penstocks,” are the largest in New

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Benmore Hydro-Dam

Benmore Dam is the largest earthen dam in the country and second largest producer of hydroelectricity. It was completed in 1965 and at the time was Aotearoa New Zealand’s biggest ever construction project.

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Benmore Peninsula Track

This circuit track passes through a forest and around a peninsula jutting out into Lake Benmore. The views are very impressive -especially earlier in the mornings when the weather is generally calmest. Complete a loop or return the way you came.

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Lake Benmore

Lake Benmore is New Zealand’s largest artificial lake, created by the Benmore Hydro-Dam. It is about 74km² and holds about 1.25 billion cubic meters of water – that’s 1.5 times the water in Wellington Harbour!

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Lake Waitaki

Lake Waitaki is the smallest, oldest and farthest downstream of the three man-made lakes of the Waitaki hydroelectric scheme. Close to Kurow, Lake Waitaki is below Aviemore and Benmore on the Waitaki River. It a great spot, popular for water-sports and fishing.

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Otematata Wetlands

Walking / Biking Track Time : 30 minutes – 1h for the loopDistance : 4.5km of trail  The Otematata Wetlands take in some some fantastic spots along the shoreline of lake Aviemore. This is an excellent network of small tracks, trails, picnic areas and swimming spots, making it the perfect

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Sailors Cutting

Sailors Cutting is a popular camping and fishing site for local Kiwis. A lovely resting spot on the shore of Lake Benmore, the view across the lake is a treat to behold.

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