Lake Coleridge, South Island, New Zealand

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Coleridge — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

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Looking for Lake Coleridge cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Lake Coleridge

Nestled snugly between two mountain ranges and surrounded by lush green farming valleys, Lake Coleridge’s clear blue waters are a breathtaking wonder in New Zealand’s South Island. Set in the high country of the Christchurch-Canterbury region, Lake Coleridge’s freshwater basin was molded by the glaciers, volcanoes, earthquakes and other natural events of New Zealand’s formation.

The lake was named after a member of the Canterbury Association and descendant of a famous English lyrical poet and philosopher, Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The Maori, however, who would have crossed the Southern Alps looking for the precious greenstone they called pounamu, gave the lake the name Whakamatua. One of the word’s meanings, “pause,” could refer to the relief and respite the lake offered Maori visitors to its waters.

Lake Coleridge’s diverse basin is important to sheep farmers. These farmers can trace their practice to livestock-raising settlers that arrived quickly after the first Europeans came to survey New Zealand’s lands. Farm tours are available that will allow you to experience first hand not only what high country pastoral lifestyle is like, but that will also intrigue you with interesting history about the region.

The lake itself holds a large landlocked population of rare Chinook salmon, one of the three species of salmon in New Zealand. Brown trout and rainbow trout are also plentiful, and the lake supports a popular fishery. Boating and windsurfing are great pastimes on Lake Coleridge as well.

Lake Coleridge is the site of the country’s very first hydroelectric system. The power station, commissioned in 1914, is located on the glacial moraine that dams the lake and is perhaps worthy of a visit. The Lake Coleridge Power Station, operated by TrustPower, harnesses the power of the Rakaia, Harper, Acheron and Wilberforce Rivers.

Mt. Hutt, one of the mountains that sandwiches Lake Coleridge offers skiing and snowboarding in winters. Hiking, four wheel driving tours, farm stays, and garden tours are other options for complementing your visit to the lake.

Christchurch, the bustling New Zealand city, is less than an hour away. But Lake Coleridge’s arresting beauty will be enough to satiate any vacationer’s hunger for something special.

Things to Do at Lake Coleridge

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Hiking
  • Snowboarding

Fish Species Found at Lake Coleridge

  • Brown Trout
  • Chinook Salmon
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Salmon
  • Trout

Find Places to Stay at Lake Coleridge

If you’re considering a Lake Coleridge 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.

Recommended Sites to Book a Lake Coleridge Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Lake Coleridge lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Lake Coleridge Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: TrustPower Limited

Surface Area: 11,614 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,194 feet

Maximum Depth: 656 feet

Completion Year: 1914

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

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On Lake Time Custom Coffee Mug – 11oz or 15oz


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