Lake Brunner, South Island, New Zealand
Moana Kotuku is what the Maori call Lake Brunner, naming it after the beautiful and rare white herons (kotuku) sometimes seen on the lake’s shores. The lake’s English name was given in memory of a 19th century British explorer, Thomas Brunner, who was awarded by the British Royal Geographical Society for his exploits of New Zealand’s South Island. Set in the West Coast region of the island,…
Keep scrolling to read more.
Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Brunner! Article topics include:
- All About Lake Brunner
- Where to Stay
- Vacation Planning Tools
- Things to Do
- Known Fish Species
- Lake Brunner Map
- Statistics / Weather / Helpful Links
- Lake Brunner Gifts
Looking for Lake Brunner cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.
All About Lake Brunner, New Zealand
Moana Kotuku is what the Maori call Lake Brunner, naming it after the beautiful and rare white herons (kotuku) sometimes seen on the lake’s shores. The lake’s English name was given in memory of a 19th century British explorer, Thomas Brunner, who was awarded by the British Royal Geographical Society for his exploits of New Zealand’s South Island. Set in the West Coast region of the island, the lake is surrounded by a white granite shoreline, New Zealand forests, and the peaks of the Southern Alps that isolate the West Coast from the rest of the island.
Lake Brunner, a natural lake formed by a glacier, is a prime fishery for wild brown trout. Lake Brunner’s wilderness surroundings and distance from major towns make it a less frequented lake with low fishing pressure. But the fish are large and abundant. Approximately 250 brown trout can be found per kilometer in water that is so often clear that sight fishing is very popular with anglers who often see and stalk their targets well before catching them. Eel fishing, a traditional practice among the Maori, is also viable in the lake. The rivers and streams flowing into the lake harbor abundant trout as well and the lake’s outflow, the Arnold River, which is great for trout and salmon fishing. Whitewater rafting is another popular sport on the river if you’re looking for an adventure. The Arnold River is also a source of hydropower; the Arnold Power Station, operated by TrustPower, was commissioned in 1932.
Though Lake Brunner is relatively uncrowded throughout the year, it is a well serviced lake. Fishing gear, groceries, and a motor service center are easily accessible. Not limited to fishing, all kinds of water sports and boating can be enjoyed on the lake including a water taxi service and lake tours. Areas for picnicking on the edge of the lake provide another way to enjoy the serenity of Lake Brunner, and unique opportunities like heli-fishing or a scenic flight on a float plane will thrill any visitor. Various walks encircle the lake and meander through the area’s native timbers and flora. One challenging walk climbs to the tussock-covered top of nearby Mt. Te Kinga.
The Lake Brunner area’s pristine wild affords all types of excursions. The nearby Paparoa National Park features canyons, cliffs and limestone caves. A visit to the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks is a must. These intriguing geological formations look like flattened rocks that have been piled into stacks, hence their name.
The tiny village of Moana (moana means “the deep ocean”) sits on the north end of Lake Brunner, and is one of the stops along the TranzAlpine train route. The train route is world renown for its stunning New Zealand scenes. It carries passengers from Christchurch on the East Coast past farmlands, rainforest, gorges, up and over the Southern Alps to Greymouth, a large town about 20 miles from Moana and Lake Brunner.
A lengthy stay in one of the available vacation rentals will complete your trip to this New Zealand Lake. After a day’s catch of sizeable trout on Lake Brunner, or an afternoon of exploring the rugged and fascinating creations of mother nature, come home to a cozy cottage, bungalow, or unique New Zealand bach where you can rest your weary limbs and gear up for another day of fresh experiences.
Things to Do at Lake Brunner
These are some activities in the Lake Brunner, New Zealand area visitors can enjoy:
- Vacation Rentals
- Whitewater Rafting
- National Park
What Kind of Fish Are in Lake Brunner?
Lake Brunner has been known to have the following fish species:
- Brown Trout
Find Places to Stay at Lake Brunner
If you’re considering a Lake Brunner lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.
Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission if you click and make a purchase. Read our full disclosure policy here.
More Sites to Book a Lake Brunner Vacation
Our interactive Lake Brunner lodging map above is an easy tool for comparing VRBO rental homes and nearby hotels with Booking.com, but there could be times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodations. Here are some other lake lodging partners we recommend:
Lake Brunner Statistics & Helpful Links
Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed
Water Level Control: TrustPower Limited
Surface Area: 10,151 acres
Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 289 feet
Average Depth: 180 feet
Maximum Depth: 359 feet
Water Volume: 1,833,023 acre-feet
Completion Year: 1932
Water Residence Time: 1.18 years
More local lakes to explore in this area:
We strive to keep information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. If you’ve found something here that needs updating, please touch base by filling out our Content Correction form.
Shop Lake Brunner Gifts
More Lake Brunner news from LakeLubbers.com
- Advertise your vacation rental property or local business: DETAILS HERE
- The Lake Brunner forum has been discontinued: HERE’S WHY
- New Lake Brunner photos coming soon!
- You’re invited to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!
- Share this Lake Brunner article with your fellow LakeLubbers: