A Kayaking Trip On Lake Brunner, Canterbury

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Lake Brunner is a beautiful lake around three hours drive from Christchurch or 45 minutes from Greymouth and covers an area of 40 km² with beautiful clear water that’s ideal for swimming. It’s a weekend destination for not only many Cantabrians but also for visiting tourists, as there’s also an awesome free campsite for self contained campervans located at Iveagh Bay. The weather was forecast to be fairly decent over Queens Brthday weekend, and given we haven’t lost any motivation yet to explore in our kayak, decided to head over on the Saturday afternoon. We woke to a gorgeous West Coast Sunday morning, with a mist which just added to the experience. We drove past the boat ramp and parked on the waters edge, near the yacht club.

The awesome thing about kayaking in lakes is just how still and clear the water is, which made for what was probably our easiest launch ever with barely a ripple on the beach. We launched the kayak and headed around the Eastern side of the lake, trawling for trout with a small cobra lure about 10-15 metres behind the kayak. There were a few little streams that entered the lake from the Eastern side, so thought that would be the best option.

There was very little weed in the lake, so the conditions seemed perfect for fishing, however anyone that has read any previous posts that involve me fishing should not get too excited. The mist started to roll in, and after about an hours paddling we came across this awesome little island called Refuge Island which we tied up at (see below) -42.617977, 171.471630.

It was quite a cool experience, visiting a tiny island like this by boat, there’s just something about being able to throw a stone from one side of the island to the other that fascinates me. Upon arrival though, most of the island was covered by gorse which limited exploration opportunities.  We continued on, with the cobra behind us and seeing very little activity. The lake itself is 109 metres deep at it’s deepest, and have been reading about thermoclines which are at about 20 metres below the surface. Have you had any luck fishing on Lake Brunner? Please pass on any tips you may have!

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