Time Required : 2-3 hours
Located at just a 20 minute drive from the city of Queenstown, the Moke Lake is the perfect place to spend a day at. Though slightly off the beaten track, the lake offers the most beautiful views of the mountains. When the water is still, it functions as nature’s mirror, reflecting the snow-capped mountains onto its surface. You can spend a day here, indulging in a variety of recreational activities, or just having a lakeside picnic.
The lake also hosts a Department of Conservation campsite, which has tents and cooking spaces – ideal for camping away from the city! You could also go kayaking or boating on the lake, or try your luck with fishing! There also runs a dirt track around the lake, which is suitable for walking, running or cycling, and offers views which aren’t accessible by vehicles. For those interested in birdwatching, you can spot multiple local species of birds flying around the lake, even chirping at dawn and dusk.
This breathtaking lake is located a little outside of the busy city of Queenstown, in New Zealand. It is around a 20 minute drive from the city and is located slightly off the main roads, requiring one to drive on a dirt track.
It is a popular camping destination, as it is nestled among beautiful snow-capped mountains. Also a great spot for a relaxing walk, Moke Lake is the place for a nature retreat!
The lake got its name from the old word for ‘donkey’, which was ‘moke’. It is said that the first person to ever visit the lake was led there by their donkey, and hence named the lake after it.
Moke Lake was discovered by George Moonlight in 1862, when he found gold near the lake, and a gold rush ensued. In the following years, other explorers found copper deposits in the tributaries of the lake.
To cater for the miners, a few villages were established around the area, and at the peak of the rush, around 2000 people lived here. An approximate of NZD 4 million worth of gold was excavated from the area before it was abandoned by miners.
These days it is a popular spot for camping, fishing, boating, cycling and horse trekking.
You can use the following means to get to Moke Lake:
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