Things to Do

Otematata is a wonderful destination right in the heart of the South Island, New Zealand, offering fresh air, clear skies, friendly people and great boating and fishing. However you choose to spend your time, you’ll enjoy the clean and natural beauty of the Waitaki Valley.

boating | fishing | golf | hydro-electric | walks | tramping | skiing | salmon farm | sheep stations |hot pools


Sailors CuttingBoating enthusiasts of all sorts flock to the Waitaki Valley to take advantage of the long summer days. Lakes Benmore, Aviemore, and Waitaki, and the Waitaki River, all attract many boating enthusiasts, whether it be power boats, yachting or windsurfing. Jetskis and wave riders are also very popular.

Regular events include:

  • The Aviemore Classic yachting race, run on Lake Aviemore each year.
  • The NZ National Windsurfing Championships, held on Lake Aviemore in February.
  • Jet boat race on the Waitaki River.


Trout fishingThe lakes and streams of the Waitaki area are well-known for their trout and salmon.

Try your luck on your own, or make use of our experienced fishing guides.


Our rooms which back on to the Otematata Golf Course. Keep your golf skills sharp playing on the great 9 Hole Golf Course, located adjacent to the Hotel.

Hydro-electric Power Stations

Benmore Dam SpillwayBenmore Power Station, New Zealand’s biggest earth dam, is only 5 minutes’ drive from the Otematata Lakes Hotel. A scenic drive extends around Lake Aviemore to Aviemore Dam. Aviemore and Waitaki Power Stations are 10 and 15 minutes drive respectively, down State Highway 83.

The picturesque Waitaki Village was built to house workers who built Waitaki Dam.

More hydro-electric stations can be found in the Mackenzie basin, 1.5 hours’ drive up the Waitaki Valley.

Scenic Walks

  • Deep Stream Walking TrackDeep Stream walk starts on the scenic drive around Lake Aviemore, just above Aviemore dam. It takes about 30 minutes each way.
  • The Benmore Track starts on the lookout / car park above Benmore Dam.


Benmore Tramping Tracks Benmore Tramping TracksThe Waitaki Valley provides many oportunities for a great tramping experience, with craggy hills and awesome views. On a fine day you can see Mount Cook from the hills around Benmore Dam.


Water skiing is one of the favourite sports on the Waitaki lakes, and it’s no wonder with so many beautiful lakes to choose from. Loch Laird, just below Benmore Dam, provides a sheltered area for beginners and more experienced skiers alike. Water skiing is available at $20 for 10 minutes.

Winter skiers can try their skill on the Awakino Skifield, near Kurow, or the Ohau Skifield, in the Mackenzie Basin. If you prefer uncluttered slopes, then these fields are for you.

Salmon Farm

Located on the Tekapo canal, the Mount Cook Salmon farm produces over 100 tonnes each year of high quality Chinook salmon - principally for export.The farm is open to visitors year round - the road may be closed during severe weather conditions.

Hot Pools

omarama hot tubsWhile looking around the beautiful Waitaki Valley take a quick scenic trip to the Omarama Hot Tubs. Soak your soul… and unwind in summer or winter, by day or night. The Hot Tubs are cleaned & re-filled after each use with fresh mountain water - no chemicals are added. Adjust the temperature to your comfort, sit back to relax in the landscape of the beautiful area.

High Country Sheep Stations

Shrek the famous high country sheepSheep farming is the major industry of the Waitaki Valley and Mackenzie Country and the home of Shrek is just up the road!

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