Lake Brunner, Canterbury: Kayaking Trip

Getting to Lake Brunner

Lake Brunner is a beautiful lake around three hours drive from Christchurch. Or, if you’re on the West Coast, it’s about 45 minutes from Greymouth. The lake covers an area of 40 km² with beautiful clear water that’s ideal for kayaking.

It’s a weekend destination for many Cantabrians and visiting tourists. Both make use of the awesome free campsite for self-contained campervans located at Iveagh Bay.

The weather forecast looked to be okay over Queens Birthday weekend. So, we decided to head over on Saturday afternoon.

Lake Brunner
Lake Brunner

We woke to a gorgeous West Coast Sunday morning, including a slight mist which also added to the experience. We took a park on the water’s edge, near the yacht club. After all, you don’t need a boat ramp to launch a kayak!

The awesome thing about kayaking in lakes is just how still and clear the water is. And, with barely a ripple on the beach, this was also probably our easiest launch ever!

Kayaking on Lake Brunner
Kayaking on Lake Brunner

We headed around the Eastern side of the lake, trawling for trout. There were a few little streams that entered the lake from the Eastern side, so we thought that might be the best place to make a catch. I started trying a small cobra lure about 10-15 metres behind the kayak.

With very little weed in the lake, the conditions appeared perfect for fishing. I was hopeful, however, anyone that has read any previous posts that involve me fishing knows I shouldn’t get excited about such things…

Refuge Island on Lake Brunner

refuge island, lake brunner

The mist started to roll in and very soon it got thicker. So, after about an hours paddling we came across this awesome little island called Refuge Island, which we tied up at.

It was quite a cool experience, visiting a tiny island like this by kayak. There is something about being able to throw a stone from one side of the island to the other. It just fascinates me. It’s also kind of neat that it’s an island in a lake on an island.

Unfortunately, the island is also covered by gorse, which can limit exploration opportunities.

We continued on, with the cobra lure behind us seeing very little activity. The lake itself is 109 metres deep at it’s deepest. That seem’s pretty deep, and I have since been reading about thermoclines, an abrupt temperature gradient in a body of water. I think that’s what’s going on in Lake Brunner, but I may be wrong. If you’ve got any information, please let me know!

lake brunner kayaks
Misty Lake Brunner

In all, we had a great time kayaking at Lake Brunner. I couldn’t say it was a successful place to fish though!

Have you had any luck fishing on Lake Brunner? Please pass on any tips you may have!

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