Lake Wakatipu sites
Click here for a map of sailing spots on Lake Wakatipu, and check the descriptions below for more information.
Great flat offshore sailing in Northwest. 45 kms from Queenstown. Rig on the grass near the jetty.
NOTE: The club is working on better access and a kite launching post away from the tourists - watch this spot (Nov 2019).
Twenty Five Mile Creek (Mt Creighton)
Good in south west, west or northwest. Twenty Five Mile Creek is about 28km west of Queenstown along the Glenorchy Road. Access to the lakeshore is just on the south side of 25 Mile Creek bridge. A row of rocks prevent cars going on to the beach. On the lake side of the first rock on the right, there is a bolted on loop for kiters to use to launch - bring your own sling.
Good in west or northwest. Rat Point is 17km west of Queenstown. Take the Glenorchy Road out of town. About 1.5km past the bluffs above Bob's Cove, just before the road goes up the hill, there is a small track down to the lake on the left. The track can be quite rough, so the club generally has a working bee at the start of each summer. There is a grassy area there where you can rig up (please don't park on the grass). You can either launch off the rocks or take the walking track down to the beach . From the beach you may have to swim out a little to catch the wind. It is generally easier to come back onto the beach rather than the rocks.
Good in a strong west or southwest. On the west side of town, just past the Youth Hostel, blast across the entrance to Queenstown Bay. Can be gusty and often only lasts for an hour or so.
Give the Eanslaw a very wide berth as she is a large steam ship with very little maneuverability. Also, if the Earslaw did need to change couse to miss a wind or kite surfer, she can only head to the beach or the reef - neither are good options. Please note that there is a bylaw which says all vessels should give way to the Earnslaw in Queenstown Bay.
Good for windsurfing in a very strong southerly. Launch anywhere on the beach.
Good for kiting in a strong southwest (Metservice 28 plus km/hr). Launch site is at the end of the beach access road. When you get down to the beach turn right (ie towards Frankton road) and park where the road stops. Pump kite on the grassy area. Look ahead and you will see a tall tree on the water's edge immediately in front of which is a much smaller tree (about 3m high). Set up your sling around the smaller tree. For this site it is probably best to get one of the locals to show you first. Beware of walkers and cyclists on the walking track - it is very busy.
Kelvin Heights works well in a Westerly. There’s a short track right at the end of the road. Instead of turning right onto the golf course go up it to the lake front. There is a little cul de sac where you can park, not brilliant for rigging and a few rocks to scramble over, but good fun when you get out, you end up sailing across the bay where Jacks Point is. Worth a try for a change!
Fantastic sailing in a southerly for both windsurfers and kiters. Take the road south of Queenstown heading towards Kingston, turn right into the Jack's Point subdivision and follow the main road towards the clubhouse, then carry on south towards the lake. There is a large grass area for rigging. Kiters generally park near the concrete pad and launch using a sling on car towbar. Windsurfers generally park a little further on next to the briar hedge, and closer to the lake.
Lake Hayes at the rowing club. When metservice shows Southerly directions at 50+km’s/hr its worth a look for those who would find Jardines and even Frankton arm too extreme. Go past Lake Hayes Estate and Past Lake Hayes Pavillion and take the first dirt road turn off that goes quite steeply down to the rowing club hut. Great area for rigging much warmer water during the summer months. There is a bit of a wind shadow trying to get out here but your’re soon into the wind to get going.
There are numerous GREAT sailing sites along the south coast:
Awarua Estuary either:
- at the Awarua Bay Yacht Club, Mid/high tide (W/S/E). The building is no longer used, it is OK to camp here, there is a toilets, or at the DOC area, follow the track after the bridge, shingle beach. Launch near jetty (NW)
- Oreti Beach. Sail anywhere along here. (NW/W)
- at Riverton Beach, access is via back roads on the east side of town at low tide (S/E)
- in Taramea Bay with rigging at the large park (S/E), or
- in Riverton Estuary, access along by the old train tracks, mid -high tide (NW)
- east end for serious surf and waves (SW/W)
- west end for those who want flatter water to start ! You can start here and then work your way down the beach to the wavey end ! Possible to camp at east end, shelter but no toilets (SW/W)
Monkey Island. Good camping spot. Toilets and a useful shed for wind shelter. (NW/W/SW)
Lake Dunstan, Pisa Moorings
Pisa Moorings on the western side of Lake Dunstan in Cromwell. Works in N/NE . We used to sail from Northburn on the other side but the locals reckon this newer spot has more consistent wind. It’s certainly much better for kiters to launch. It has a nice long stretch of open lakefront that would work for body draggers to go a few hundred meters downwind then walk back up. It’s also a very pleasant place for just hanging out or having a social time as Wanaka/Alex sailors use this spot. It’s a run of about 400-500m across so encourages you to gybe more. The water is not deep so at some times during the year it can be much warmer than the Wakatipu. Locals say there can be OK temps in Sept before the snow melts start.
Check out this map for sites around Dunedin