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The Makarora Area

Located on the Haast Pass Highway between Wanaka and the West Coast, Makarora is a hikers’ hub and an access point for the Mt Aspiring National Park.

Known to people of the area as the ‘timeless land’, Makarora is a truly special place with stunning snow-capped mountains, ancient river valleys, pristine native rainforests, and fast-flowing wilderness rivers. A place where time has truly stood still, but discovery and adventure continue to beckon.

Situated within the famed World Heritage-listed Mount Aspiring National Park, the wilderness region of Makarora lies between Lake Wanaka and the Haast Pass. The region has a rich history and was known to Maori as Kaika Paekai (the place of abundant food) and spelt and pronounced Makarore. The Makarore was part of the principal travel route over Tioripātea (Haast Pass) that connected Central Otago with Te Tai Poutini (the West Coast).Today’s visitors can easily appreciate why the Makarora Valley provided such a special resting place for Maori, whilst traveling to the west coast in their quest for highly valued pounamu or greenstone.

What to do around Makarora?

The area surrounding Makarora is rich in wonderful scenery and there is plenty to see and do!

Famous Attraction Makarora Blue Pools Haast Pass New Zealand

The stunning Blue Pools are about a 10-minute drive west of Makarora. The walk to the pools is an easy 3km – return via the same track.

Fantail Falls Things To Do In Makarora Nz

Fantail Falls are a 20 minute drive from Makarora (22km). There you will find an easy bush walk with a view of Fantail Falls, 5 minute return (200m).

Haast Pass Lookout is about 15 minutes from Makarora (18km). There you will discover a 5km return walk through native forest, to a view of Mt Brewster and Mt Aspiring National Park.

About 10 minutes from Makarora, this is a short bush walk to a viewing platform overlooking Cameron Creek.

6-8hrs return walk (5km). A steady climb through beech forest to Brewster Hut (advanced hike)

A great place to walk, boat, swim, kayak or enjoy the beach!

Where to stay?

Here are our top picks for accommodation in Makarora and Lake Hawea.

Wonderland Lodge Makarora

5944 Haast Pass-Makarora Road,
Makarora, 9382,
New Zealand

+64 03 443 8372
0800 800 443
[email protected]

Wild Earth Lodge Makarora Accommodation

5392 Makarora Lake Hawea Road
Makarora 9382

[email protected]
+64 (03) 443 4628

The Camp Hawea

1208 Lake Hawea – Makarora Rd, Lake Hawea,  9382

 +64 (0)3 443 1767